Farfuglinn – The Migrant Bird

The child – performed by Halla Messíana Kristinsdóttir

The Migrant Bird (2010) is an Opera in three movements based on the novel “Mother” by H.C. Anderson and “Stray Birds” by Rabindranath Tagore.

Farfuglinn is an exciting opera about death and grief, intended for older children and teenagers (aged 14 and upwards). It involves three singers and three instrumentalists of the first order.  The technical wizardry of electronic music also plays an important role. 

Teenagers have a particularly difficult time sorting out their emotions when a relative or close friend dies. It is more difficult for them than for young children to turn to their parents with their grief, but they themselves do not yet possess the adult’s maturity to cope with such complex emotions.

This opera is written for three singers and three instrumentalists and uses electronic music. The aim of The Migrant Bird is to introduce the younger generation to contemporary operatic production in Iceland and how modern music can be combined with electronic music by using new technology.  

Act I

Takes place in the world of the mother, the red world. Her child dies. The mother seeks after her child and meets the death who poses her four questions.

Act II

It takes place on the island of death, the blue world, in the garden of plants, where the Death grows the flowers of life. The mother sees a dissimilar fate of two children but does not get to know which is her child. She suddenly realizes that she is not able to control life or death.


Takes place in the garden of Paradise, the yellow world, when the Death brings her child to there. The mother finds her child in her memories.

Performance recorded live at Salurinn, Kópavogi February 8th, 2010 by Kukl ehf. kukl@kukl.is

Copyright ©2010 Cave Music production.

Libretto – Messíana Tómasdóttir
Director and Costume Design – Messíana Tómasdóttir


Mother – Ingibjörg Guðjónsdóttir soprano 
Death – Jóhann Smári Sævarsson bass/bariton
Child – Halla Messíana Kristinsdóttir soprano


Melkorka Ólafsdóttir – flute and bass flute
Rúnar Óskarsson – clarinet and bass clarinet
Gísli Galdur Thorgeirsson – live sounds and electronic drums
Hilmar Thórðarson – electronic sounds and computer technics

Lighting – Arnar Ingvarsson

Video design and projection – Salbjörg Rita Jónsdóttir