Jan 152010

Editor’s note: This isn’t the Part 2 of “Burning Ideas” that we originally planned to run today. But some breaking news directly relevant to what we wrote in Part 1 shoved the original Part 2 off the front page. So the original Part 2 has become Part 3, and we’ll run that tomorrow.

I’ve never been to Norway, but I know a few things about it that are different from the good old US of A. In Norway, for example, you can stage a black metal musical at Den Nationale Scene (translation: The National Stage), one of Norway’s oldest and most renowned theaters, as part of an annual international music and culture festival. And as we wrote yesterday in Part 1 of this post, you can apparently include in your cast a guy like Gaahl, ex-Gorgoroth vocalist and twice imprisoned advocate of church burning.

Oops! Not so fast. Check out this breaking news as reported by Blabbermouth yesterday:

The artistic director of Den Nationale Scene (DNS), the renowned Norwegian theater where Kristian “Gaahl” Espedal (GORGOROTH,GOD SEEDTRELLDOM) is set to make his musical debut this May, is reconsidering his decision to cast the former black metal vocalist for the upcoming “Svartediket” production.

Bjarte Hjelmeland is under pressure from both the clergy and the director of at Festspillene i Bergen (Bergen International Festival), the annual international music and cultural festival where the “first-ever black metal musical” is set to receive its premiere, because Gaahl has once again made it clear that he supports and condones the church burnings associated with the early Norwegian black metal scene. . . .

Hjelmeland says he will travel to Oslo to have “a long talk” with Gaahl about his statements to the media before making a decision on whether to allow the singer to stay involved with the musical. “It is important, both for me personally and on behalf of DNS, to completely distance ourselves from the attitudes Gaahl has expressed in the Bergens Tidende interview,” Hjelmeland says.

“My beliefs are diametrically opposed to his. I pretty much grew up in church and consider myself a Christian. . . . I was not familiar with Kristian‘s past when I hired him to do ‘Svartediket’. And I could not possibly have known that he would come out and publicly support these serious crimes.”

Tell you what: I’d pay decent money to be a fly on the wall when Mr. Hjelmeland has that long talk with Gaahl. (more after the jump . . .) Continue reading »