• Scenatet presents
  • Interludium
  • by Jeppe Ernst
  • Passage Festival
  • August 6, 2023

Backyard Opera

Backyard Opera is a site-specific outdoor opera installation created in a collaboration between composer Bent Sørensen and stage director Anna Berit Asp Christensen, artistic director of Scenatet. After it was premiered at Copenhagen Opera Festival August 2021, Backyard Opera received a glowing review from Information, where it was described as a “beautiful opera about loneliness”.

Backyard Opera is inspired by the French author George Perec’s postmodern novel Life: A User’s Manual, which in stunning detail attempts to give an account of the many shapes life takes in a Parisian apartment block. Similarly, Backyard Opera sucks the audience into the backyard’s cacophonous catalog of lives and destinies. The opera unfolds as a fragmentary series of peepholes into the lives behind the many facades that make up a Copenhagen backyard.

For several years, Sørensen and Christensen have collected a wide range of sounds, quotes, and fragments. Small remnants of life that each take part in constituting Backyard Opera’s kaleidoscopic puzzle of passions, disappointments, illusions, and (self)deceptions.



“The backyard tells stories about people, close, next to, on top of each other, and about their fragile connections. About love that is as fragile as eggs and cheerful as bubbles, and about how each of us are in our bubble, just as our beloved is in his bubble, sleeping, at work, out of our lives. There is no such thing as one big omelette: we can never be anything but eggs lined up close together. Neighbors”.

“Beautiful opera installation let the audience in for reflections on our lives and how close to each other we can really get, a contemplative universe with song and music and a reality close to reality [that] was experienced as […] a beautiful opera about loneliness”


Idea & concept: Bent Sørensen and Anna Berit Asp Christensen
Libretto, scenography and sound design: Anna Berit Asp Christensen
Musical composition and sound design: Bent Sørensen
Sung lyrics / excerpts: Tomas Espedal, Jón Kalman Stefánsson, Anna Berit Asp Christensen
Production management and technical direction: Janus Jensen and Peter Barnow
Light design: Morten Hembo
Sound engineer: Jonas Kirkegaard
Producer: Mette Hornbek Hansen
Sound supervisor: Sebastian Vinther Olsen
Musicians: Signe Asmussen, soprano with Anna Melander, Jonas Frølund, Therese Iversen, Oriol Pares, Katerina Anagnostidou, Fei Nie, Mikkel Egelund, Louise Gorm, Iben Teilmann and Lea Emilie Brøndal Pedersen
Conductor: James Sherlock
Voice actors: Birgitte Prins, Camilla Gottschalck, Charlotte Munksgaard, Claus Flygare, Henrik Birch, Louise Pøhler, Mikkel Trier Rygaard, Morten Klode, Rasmus Hougaard, René Kruse, Sophie Zinckernagel and Søs Uldall-Ekmann
Photo: Marc Fluri

Supported by

Danish Arts Fundation, Augustinus Fonden, KODA Culture, Aage og Johanne Louis-Hansens Fond and Copenhagen Opera Festival.