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Maren of Vardø
Composer:Jeff Myers
Librettist:Royce Vavrek
The opera is inspired by the true story of Maren Olsdatter, a twelve year-old girl from Vardø, Norway. In 1663 she was accused of dalliances with the devil, only a few years after her mother had been burned at the stake in one of the most devastating witch hunts in history. The witch trial of Vardø in Finnmark in Northern Norway the winter of 1662-1663 was one of the biggest in Scandinavia. Thirty people were put on trial, accused of sorcery and making pacts with the Devil. Legend has it, when Maren was tortured due to suspected witchery, she confessed that she had visited hell and was given a tour by Satan himself. This opera uses Maren’s supposed journey to the depths as its starting place, interpreting her character as an adolescent immediately entranced by Satan in his satyr (half-human, half-goat) form.

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