It's a great time to be a fan of ABBA. The Swedish band, one of the most successful bands in music history with over 380 million records sold, had broken up in 1982. A reunion was always out of the question. The two male members of the band, Benny Anderson and Björn Ulvaeus, with the musical "Chess" respectable success. In 2018, the quartet reunited for the first time and recorded two new songs that should premiere soon. Anderson and Ulvaeus did not want to completely rule out that there will be more new ABBA music, after all, the work in the studio was a lot of fun for all.
The waiting time for the two new songs can now shorten fans in Frankfurt in a very wonderful way: the hit musical MAMMA MIA! guest until January 12 in the Alte Oper. Anderson and Ulvaeus were initially not very keen on the idea of making a musical out of their old hits, until Catherine Johnson presented her concept for the musical: not the story of the band was to be brought to the stage, but an amusing mother-daughter story, wrapped up in hits like "The winner takes it all", "I have a dream" and "Thank you for the Music". The two composers were thrilled and "Mamma Mia!" was born.
Since its premiere in 1999, 25 years after ABBA won the Eurovision Song Contest, over 60 million people worldwide have seen the musical, 7 million of them in Germany alone. The cinema version was a worldwide blockbuster, so much so that a sequel was even released in 2018, which also became a blockbuster. But despite superstars like Meryl Streep and Pierce Brosnan, the two movie musicals are no substitute for the live experience that celebrated a glittering Frankfurt premiere on Thursday.
With 22 of the band's hits, viewers are transported to the Aegean Sea, where the story of a daughter and her three possible fathers is told. Admittedly, the plot isn't particularly deep and it also takes a bit of getting used to hearing the songs in the German-language translation by Michael Kunze and Ruth Deny. But soon this fades into the background and you are carried away by the good mood that the songs and the actors radiate. It is almost impossible to sit still during songs like "Dancing Queen", "Komm und wag`s mit mir" (Take a chance on me) or "Wenn das Mami wüsst" (Does your mother know) - as well as to suppress the goosebumps during "Durch meine Finger ringt die Zeit" (Slipping through my fingers) and "Der Sieger hat die Wahl" (The Winner takes it all).
The ensemble, which is on stage in Frankfurt, is simply great and can convince both vocally and acting. Especially Sabine Mayer as Donna, Betty Vermeulen as Tanja and Barbara Raunegger as Rosie make sure that even in the gloomy December in Frankfurt the sun rises. But also the rest of the ensemble and - not to forget - the musicians make this musical a real highlight. And when the best ABBA songs are once again sung to standing ovations at the final applause, the Alte Oper is transformed into a magnificent party location.
So if you simply want to be served an extra portion of good mood and ideally also love the classics of ABBA, you should not miss this guest performance. You can find more info HERE in our event calendar.