The Kiberg Odyssey

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It has been said that “the victors write the history”. The partisans in Finnmark won the war, but lost the peace and the right to tell their side of the story.

During the 200th anniversary of the Norwegian Constitution and the Year of Freedom of Expression 2014, the Arts Festival of North Norway, Hålogaland Teater and Arctic Philharmonic are joining forces with Barents Event to create an opera about the fate of the Finnmark partisans and the betrayal they experienced from Norway, the country they had fought so hard for during World War II! This opera is based on an idea developed by the late Anne-Lise Berntsen in collaboration with composer Trygve Brøske and librettist Marianne Meløy.

KibergOdysséen (The Kiberg Odyssey) is an opera about never coming home and raises a delicate problem in recent history that affects the people of Finnmark to this day. This year represents the 70th anniversary of Finnmark’s liberation by Soviet forces in the autumn of 1944. And there is good reason to claim that Kiberg is the place in Norway where freedom of expression has been the most restricted since World War II.

The story of heroism of the Norwegian resistance movement did not have space for the fate of the Kiberg partisans, and consequently an important part of our Norwegian history has been suppressed. For a long time the fate of the partisans was kept under wraps and many refrained from talking about their experiences, even to their closest family.

This production lifts forgotten heroes into the spotlight and provides an important reminder of suppression in the writing of Norwegian history.

The Kiberg Odyssey is a collaborative venture between SKRIU in Finnmark, the Arctic Philharmonic, the Arts Festival of North Norway and Hålogaland Teater.