Article in Norwegian, published by 20.04.2018

By Anders Martinius Tangen

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Rybak has worked a lot and closely with the stage show in Lisbon. Some changes will be.
Rybak has worked a lot and closely with the stage show in Lisbon.Some changes will be.Photo: Archiveas 

This is how they work on Rybaks’ Stage-show in Lisbon

There’s only a good week before Alexander Rybak and the rest of the Norwegian delegation, have their first rehearsal on the stage in Lisbon. We in EscNorge have investigated a little, how the preparations are going, how the stage show will be and what Alexander Rybak will do to raise awareness about the Norwegian contribution “That’s how you write a song”.

Last year, JOWST and Aleksander Walmann participated in several pre-parties and concerts around Europe. They were on their PR tour already in mid-April. So far, it seems that Rybak has been quieter. But that does not mean, that Rybak has been lying on the couch and played computer games or built lego.

Since the Norwegian finals, Rybak has been on a long-planned vacation to the United States. He has performed in the TV show “Virtuos”, which is the Norwegian finals for Eurovision for Young musicians, he has been rehearsing for a theatre-play he takes part in this summer. 

But most of the time, Rybak has spent on preparations for Eurovision. This is told by project manager and head of the Norwegian delegation, Stig Karlsen, to escNorge this afternoon.

Alexander Rybak is known to be a perfectionist who leaves nothing to chance. That’s why, he has attended most of the meetings about everything from light, clothes, effects and Promotion. Rybak uses his experience from the last time he participated and has his strong opinions about what he has to do, to get the best results possible.

Among other things, both Rybak and the Norwegian ESC delegation has spent a lot of time on finding new dancers. This has been necessary, since it is not allowed to use recorded vocals in Eurovision. In the Norwegian finals, the dancers could concentrate only on the dance, because much of the backing-vocals was recorded. Stig Karlsen states that they have worked a lot to find dancers who also sing well enough to do the job. Such dancers do not grow on trees in Norway. However, auditions have been held for many dancers and now the Norwegian delegation has found, what both Rybak and NRK believe is a dream crew. escNorge has not been told whether it’s Norwegian or foreign dancers, but there are plans for a separate PR-plan around the presentation of Rybak’s crew in Lisbon.

NRK is working in parallel with a 50-minute documentary about Alexander, to be aired just before the 2nd semi-final 10th of May. In this documentary, we will become better acquainted with the artist, songwriter and person Rybak. Here, we will also see parts of the many preparations and there will also be made recordings in Lisbon, in the two weeks we are there, which will be part of the documentary.

Rybak has not participated in pre-shows around Europe, and is not going to attend the last pre-show in Madrid 21st April. There has simply not been enough time to prepare good enough performances for such a show. Rybak is not known to deliver half. Besides, he has been busy with preparations at home. 

Alexander Rybak and the Norwegian delegation have also prioritized interviews for television and other media abroad. Some of these have been published, others will be published in the time to come. Recently, Rybak has been interviewed by Ukrainian television.

Since there are no LED displays on this year’s scene in Lisbon, some have been worried about the graphical effects that Rybak used in MGP.

According to Stig Karlsen, these effects are still included in the performance. He also tells, they are in close dialogue with the producers in Lisbon about how the entire number will appear, both on stage and on the TV screen.

Alexander Rybak is also going to Lisbon for a few days to record the postcard to be used before the Norwegian contribution is presented in Eurovision.

Norway has starting number one in the second semifinal of the Eurovision Song Contest. Alexander Rybak has written and performed “That’s how you write a song”. Rybak is mentioned as one of those who can win the final and is steadily on a seventh place in the odds. Rybak and the team, travel to Lisbon Monday, 30 April, and have their first rehearsal on Tuesday 1 May.