Icons of Europe This fleur-de-lys represents the aims of Icons of Europe asbl.  The fleur-de-lys figure has been used as an ornament or emblem by almost all civilisations of the old and new worlds.

"Chopin and The Nightingale"


Lasne (Brussels) , 11 October 2003
On the occasion of the publication of the new biography
"Chopin and The Swedish Nightingale"
Supporting the fight against TB of which Chopin died

Facing the audience and singing, Jenny Lind sounds the A on the piano to produce  an echo effect.  Lithograph after H. Leloir.The one-hour drama "Chopin and The Nightingale" replays the actual musical encounters of Chopin and Jenny Lind.  It provides a new perspective on the long-standing importance Chopin attached to the art of singing:   "You must sing with your fingers", he once said to a pupil.

In the drama, Chopin and Jenny Lind's encounters are seen as a real-life replay of Hans Christian Andersen's story The Nightingale.  He wrote this story in 1843 as a tribute to Jenny Lind who did not return his love for her.

Comité d'Honneur
- H.E. Mr Iwo Byczewski, Ambassador of Poland to Belgium
- H.E. Mr Sven-Olof Petersson, Ambassador of Sweden
- H.E. Madame Joëlle Bourgois, Ambassador of France
- H.E. Mr Gavin Hewitt, Ambassador of the United Kingdom
- H.E. Mr Peter von Butler, Ambassador of Germany
- H.E. Mr Karsten Petersen, Ambassador of Denmark
- H.E. Mr Mats Staffansson, Ambassador of Sweden to Poland

Act 4, Hope:  "What a duet it will be!" (Hans Christian Andersen).Performed by:
Biljana Staffansson, soprano
Ljiljana Jovanovic, soprano
Daniel Blumenthal, piano
Cecilia Jorgensen, narrator

Act 1:  Coup-de-foudre - Mrs Grote's home, London, 2 May 1848
Act 2:  Magnolia - Clairville Cottage, Brompton, 12 May 1848
Act 3:  In doubt - Calder House, Edinburgh, 30 October 1848
Act 4:  Hope - Rue de Chaillot 74, Paris, early June 1849
Act 5:  Death - Place Vendôme 12, Paris, before 17 October 1849
Act 6:  Love - Buckingham Palace, London, 30 May 1856

With thanks to our sponsors

Royal Danish Embassy


The drama
Emperor:  Fryderyk Chopin, composer
Nightingale:  Jenny Lind, soprano
Artificial bird:  Pauline Viardot, mezzo soprano
Storyteller:  Hans Christian Andersen

Music:  Chopin, Vincenzo Bellini, Scandinavian composers
Playwrights:  Cecilia and Jens Jorgensen
Musical advisor:  Daniel Blumenthal
Producer:  Icons of Europe
Piano:  Steinway

Based on the historical information of the new biography, the narrator introduces each act with original quotes from letters Chopin wrote in 1848-1849 to family and friends and from the Nightingale story.  These quotes match each other to a surprising and moving degree.  Each act is also embellished by the display of a large image.  The whole concept is flexible (i.e. music programme, multimedia, audience size, languages and timing, as well as the opportunity to support a humanitarian cause).

The drama and the music as well as the actors refer to a large number of countries:  Belgium, Britain, Denmark, France, Germany, Italy, Norway, Poland, Russia, Serbia, Spain and Sweden, as well as China, Japan and the United States.

Copyright © 2003 Icons of Europe, B-1380 Lasne
Deposited with the U.S. Library of Congress, Washington, D.C.

The biography

"Yesterday I was at a dinner with J. Lind, who afterwards sang me Swedish things till midnight".
London, 13 May 1848

Chopin;  print based on a portrait by P. Schick.

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Hans Christian Andersen (1805-1875), born in Odense, Denmark.

Hans Christian Andersen's
"The Nightingale":

- Dansk
- Deutsch
- English
- Français
- Polska