The opera is based on true historical events that took place in Iceland in the mid 17th century. The title role, Ragnheiður, is the 18-year-old daughter of the Bishop of Skálholt, the most powerful man of the church in the country. She and her young teacher, Daði, fell in love, but had to conceal their affections since the bishop had other plans for his daughter's future. In 1661 the bishop demanded that his daughter, Ragnheiður, would take an oath in front of the whole congregation to swear her virginity. Nine months later she gave birth to a child. For centuries people have discussed if she took a false oath or not.
The case includes barihunk August Ólafsson in the role of Reverend Torfi Jónsson, who explains to the title character that the consequences of perjury will be the eternal flames of hell. He studied music at the Sibelius Academy with the great baritone Jorma Hynninen. He made his debut with the Icelandic Opera in the title role of Sondheim's Sweeney Todd, and has subsequently performed Papageno in Mozart's The Magic Flute, Marcello in Puccini's La Bohème, Nick Shadow in Stravinsky's The Rake's Progress, Harlekin in Richard Strauss' Ariadne on Naxos, Baron Douphol in Verdi's La traviata, and Marullo in Verdi's Rigoletto.
He has been nominated three times for the Icelandic Music Awards and received the 2011 Icelandic Music Performer of the Year.
Performances of Ragnheiður are on December 27th and 28th. Tickets are available online.
Don't forget to order you Barihunks Charity Calendar today. We've already given away $1,600 to support young singers.