Next afternoon we met up with Folmer who guided us to meet with the 'orchestra' for rehearsals. The musicians had been gathered from around the world to perform at the opening gala, effectively the launch of the festival.
The gala was performed in front of the Queen of Denmark and 1600 silent citizens who were under orders not to applaud until the end of the show; I wish someone had told me as I was first up; exiting stage left with tumbleweed and the echo of a bloke coughing on row seven! All a bit disorienting until you got the 'concept'; an evening of debate, poetry (written and read by Josefine Klougart, a tall and very beautiful young acclaimed writer who was shortlisted in 2011 for best nordic fictionality), all interspersed with music and song; and compared with consummate ease by that fine Danish actor and fisherman Jesper Asholt, probably best known for his work in the first Dogme film by Søren Kragh-Jacobsen: Mifune.
Lisa Hannigan turned up at the 11th hour, a little frazzled after being stranded at Munich airport and sang up a storm. Later Eva and Simon were just perfect together; surely the first of many such duets. A prominent part of the presentation were the designs in paper by Kathy Hinde; we actually flew back with her next day with a hundred paper birds in her suitcase. I was willing customs to stop and search her...