Toronto’s Lord of the Rings

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The much-anticipated musical theatre version of ‘The Lord of the Rings’ made its formal début in a gala première in Toronto on Thursday evening, and the reactions of the audience suggested that the massive production would not be leaving town very soon.

From the Finnish point of view Toronto’s ‘The Lord of the Rings’ production is particularly interesting, with its strong Karelian-tinged songs composed by the Finnish folk group ‘Värttinä’.

“Just as in Tolkien’s original work, music has a greater role in the stage adaption than it had in Peter Jackson’s highly successful film trilogy. The “Finnish connection” is not altogether a coincidence: Tolkien often referred to his own personal debt to the myths of the Finnish national epic ‘Kalevala’.

(From Helsingin Sanomat International)

I’ve been waiting to hear more about this since first reading about the Finnish connection, and then learning that the debut would be in Toronto. Well, it has received mixed reviews in both the CBC and Globe and Mail. I wonder if the expectations might be too high after the films, even the book.

Still, I wish I was closer to Toronto to go see this production. And that reminds me, I still haven’t seen all of the films and I must reread the book after 20 years or so. Ah time, time…

ADDENDUM March 28th: Here’s more: Finger of fate pointed Lord of the Rings music towards Finland; Värttinä discovered largely by chance to compose the music for Toronto production.

March 24, 2006 in Books, Films, Finland, Estonia & Finno-Ugric, Folk Legends & Myths, Music by Marja-Leena