The Cast

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Göran Bror Benny Andersson Creator/Composer
Göran Bror Benny Andersson Creator/Composer
Göran Bror Benny Andersson Creator/Composer
Born 16 December 1946 in Stockholm.

1952 Received accordion lessons from his father and grandfather.

1964-68 Member of the Hep Stars, Sweden's most popular rock band in the 1960's. During this time, he began composing music. "Sunny Girl" and "Wedding" were huge hits for the Hep Stars.

1972 - 82 ABBA

1982 - 84 Composed the music (together with Björn Ulvaeus) for the musical, Chess.

1987 Began collaborating with Orsa Spelmän. Recorded three albums deeply rooted in Swedish folk music: Klinga Mina Klockor, November 1989 and Fiolen Min. In 2001, this collaboration led to the formation of Benny Andersson's Orchestra, a 16-man constellation with vocalists, Helen Sjöholm and Tommy Körberg. Thus far, this has resulted in three CD albums and several summer tours.

1990-95 Composed the music to Kristina from Duvemåla. Premiered in October 1995

1995 Received the title of professor from the Swedish government.

Inducted into in the Royal Swedish Academy of Music in 2007.

Appointed Honorary Doctor of the College of Humanities at Stockholm University in 2008.

Benny Andersson is married to former TV producer, Mona Nörklit. They have one child, Ludvig Andersson. Benny Andersson also has two children from a previous marriage, Peter Grönvall and Helene Odedal. He has five grandchildren: Charlie, Felix, Fabian, Malin and Viola.

Björn Kristian Ulvaeus Creator/Lyrics
Björn Kristian Ulvaeus  Creator/Lyrics
Göran Bror Benny Andersson Creator/Composer
Björn was born in Gothenburg on April 25, 1945. When he was six years old the family moved to the small town of Västervik, where Björn grew up.

In the mid-50’s Björn fell in love with rock'n'roll and skiffle. By the early Sixties he was a member of a folk group called the West Bay Singers. In 1963 they entered a talent contest arranged by Swedish radio—which led to their discovery by songwriter/publisher Stig Anderson and his partner, Bengt Bernhag.

In 1966, Björn had a chance meeting with Benny Andersson, himself a member of Sweden's number one pop group, The Hep Stars. They hit it off and wrote their first song together, "Isn't It Easy To Say."

Björn recorded a couple of solo singles in the late 60’s, at which point he also started concentrating more on his collaboration with Benny Andersson. In 1970 the pair started releasing records as a duo and also staged a cabaret show together with their fiancées, Agnetha Fältskog and Anni-Frid Lyngstad. On July 6, 1971, Björn and Agnetha got married.

From 1972 and for a decade onward Björn was immersed in his work with ABBA. In 1983 Björn and Benny started writing the musical Chess with lyricist Tim Rice. A concept album was released in the autumn of 1984, and in May '86 the musical opened in London's West End. In 1988 Chess received its Broadway première. A reworked version of the musical opened in Stockholm, Sweden in 2002.

By 1990, Björn and Benny had decided to write a new musical. This time they wanted to write exclusively in Swedish, and they chose the Emigrants novel series by author Vilhelm Moberg as basis for their work. The musical Kristina från Duvemåla (Kristina From Duvemåla) opened in October 1995. The show ran for three and a half years at various theatres in the Swedish cities of Malmö, Gothenburg and Stockholm.

More recently, Björn has involved himself heavily in the staging of Mamma Mia!, a musical based on ABBA songs. Since opening in London in April 1999, Mamma Mia! has been staged in all the major theatrical markets and continues to enjoy success on Broadway to this day. In July 2008, Mamma Mia! was turned into a popular Motion Picture, introducing the work of Björn Ulvaeus & Benny Andersson to a whole new generation of young fans.

Herbert Kretzmer English Lyrics
Louise Pitre Ulrika
Herbert Kretzmer was born in South Africa, where he worked for national newspapers before settling in London in the mid-Fifties to pursue twin careers as a journalist and songwriter.

He joined the London Daily Express in 1960, later becoming that newspaper's chief drama critic,a post he held for 18 years. From 1979-1987 he wrote television criticism for the London Daily Mail, winning two national press awards, including Critic Of The Year.

As a lyric writer he wrote weekly songs for the BBC's controversial television satire series "That Was The Week That Was."

Kretzmer has been a longtime lyricist for French star Charles Aznavour. Their award-winning songs Include "Yesterday When I Was Young" and the chart-topping "She."

Kretzmer wrote book and lyrics for the London musical "Our Man Crichton," and the lyrics for The Four Musketeers which ran for more than a year at the Theatre Royal, Drury Lane.

In 1985 Kretzmer wrote the lyrics for the still-running London production of Boublil & Schonberg's 1980 French hit Les Misérables. For these lyrics Kretzmer received Tony and Grammy Awards in 1987. He teamed up with Boublil and Schonberg again in 2009 for Marguerite (music by Michel Legrand) at the Haymarket Theater.

In 1997 he was made a Chevalier of L'Ordre des Arts et Des Lettres. In 1997 he became a Doctor of Letters (Honoris Causa) at Richmond College (American International University in London).

Lars Rudolfsson Director
Lars Rudolfsson Director
Lars Rudolfsson, born in 1951, is one of the most respected and sought after directors in Sweden.

He was educated at the University College of Dance in Stockholm to become a mime, but enjoyed a successful career directing. However, he clearly reveals his background through his frequent use of mimes and cirque nouveau artists in many of his productions. Rudolfsson has also been employed as managing director of several Swedish Theatre Companies.

Lars Rudolfsson's big breakthrough was his 1985 production of Pygmalion by G B Shaw at the Orion Theatre in Stockholm. During his time as CEO for The Malmö Opera a close and durable collaboration began with Benny Andersson and Björn Ulvaeus and he wrote the book for and directed their musical Kristina which premiered in Malmö in 1995. Kristina was a huge success on several major Swedish stages over a period of three years and is today considered one of Sweden's national musical treasures.

Lars Rudolfsson also directed Benny Andersson's and Björn Ulvaeus' first musical (with Tim Rice) Chess when it premiered in 2002 in Swedish at the Cirkus Theatre in Stockholm.

Rudolfsson has directed a wide range of classical and modern plays, musicals and operas, The ThreePenny Opera by Brecht/Weill at Stockholm City Theatre, The Bat by Strauss at Folkoperan in Stockholm, Fiddler on the Roof at the Malmö Opera and Bizet's Carmen at the Santa Fe Opera House in the US.

Lars Rudolfsson has received many awards, among them the "Litteris et Artibus" medal for "outstanding artistic achievements as director and producer" from the hand of H.M. the King of Sweden.

Paul Gemignani Music Director
Paul Gemignani Music Director
Musical Director for more than 39 Broadway shows, including: Pal Joey, 110 in the Shade, Follies, Pacific Overtures, Candide, A Little Night Music, Sweeney Todd, Evita, Dreamgirls, Merrily We Roll Along, Into the Woods, On the Twentieth Century, Sunday…George, High Society, Kiss Me Kate, Assassins, Frogs. Conducted: Follies (Philharmonic), A Little Night Music (PBS), A Celebration of the American Musical (Great Performances). Showtime: Into the Woods, Sunday in the Park with George and Passion. Films include: Kramer vs. Kramer, Reds, Eyewitness, and Sweeney Todd. Tony Award for Lifetime Achievement, Special Drama Desk and Los Angeles Drama Critics Awards for Outstanding Musical Direction and Commitment to the Theatre, Emmy for "South Pacific at Carnegie Hall," and an honorary Doctor of Musical Arts from the Manhattan School of Music. Grammy nominations for Passion, Crazy for You and Kiss Me Kate.
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