Marja-Leena Rathje
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Toronto's Lord of the Rings


"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.


The Christian Science Monitor gave the production a glowing review.

According to something on the LOTR extended version DVD, Tolkien's very first invented language, for one of his Elvish groups, used many of the sounds of Finnish.

Oh, Dave, that's good to know! And I'm glad that the DVD points out that Elvish is based partly on Finnish. I've mentioned that in several of the links, some rather buried like this one. Tolkien was quite the linguist, eh? - a scientist and an artist!

Hi Marja-Leena, I was just groping around looking at poetry written on stone and saw you at Via Negativa and saw this and thought of you and that you might enjoy it.


Hija, Bill! Yes, I really enjoyed that link - now I want some poetry stones for my garden! And I'd love to visit that garden in Scotland - it has a very spiritual air. Are you thinking of carving some poems on stone, Bill?

Carve script? Oh no! I can barely write my name with a pencil!

Well, I guess you and I will just content ourselves with dreaming about these lovely mossy gardens in Scotland!

Dave Bonta has somewhat spoiled sculpture gardens for me. I now think they ought to include feral socks, plastic shopping bags etc.

Heh, Dave does have that way of affecting us!

That would be a production I'd like to see. After reading and loving the books since I was a boy, it's hard not to be a little hard on the movies, which, though quite good, take so much away from the books. I wonder what the musical is like?

Butuki, do you think a 3 1/2 hour production can possibly cover the entire Rings series? If one hoped that, one would likely be disappointed. But if you went to see it as a short story set to some interesting music and fantastic technical effects, as a unique event, it might be pretty thrilling. Comparisons are not fair, I think.

Kiitos näistä linkeistä Marja-Leena, oli tarkoitus etsiskellä kritiikkejä, ja tässähän näitä tulikin ihan etsimättä.
Ja kiitos kuvista, on aina mukava käydä täällä.

Sehän sattui mukavasti, Anni! Ja kiitos vain kun käyt ja kommentoit, on mukava näin suomalaisten kansa pitää yhteyttä eri puolta mailmaa. Ja hauska aina lukea suomalaisista vaikutteista Tolkienin satuun ja nyt tähän musikaaliin, eikä olekin?

I'd prefer it be a musical not a mixture of everything.