Developed with the support of three cultural grants, a lab residency at the prestigious Guild Hall of East Hampton, and featured in a Carnegie Hall concert program. the singing and orchestral score was recorded with a cast of ten and a 16-piece chamber ensemble.
Written, composed, edited, produced and directed by Jeffrey Leiser, director of photography and visual effects by Samuel Krueger, gaffer and camera operator Mark Pauley, camera operator Joshua F. Leonard, production designer and vfx artist Jennilee Aromando, wardrobe styling by Lindy Fox, hair and make-up by Giannina Guiterrez, and production wardrobe stylist Keturah Thorpe.
Music production team: orchestrated and arranged by Andrés Soto, conducted by Keith Chambers, sound recorded and mixed by Myles Rodenhouse, piano-vocal reduction by Mitchell McCarthy.
Starring Micaëla Oeste and Kirsten Chambers | supported by Bray Wilkins, Daniel Klein, Raymon Geis, Samuel Druhora, Bryan G. Davis, Michelle Jennings, Rachel Duval, Flavius Druhora, Luis Ramos, Rachel Yazzie, Leo Kubota, and Benairen Kane.
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My love of the Icelandic sagas dates back to 2003, when I first picked up the Penguin compilation. My brother and I had just returned from our first trip to Iceland, following the fresh wound of a loss. We found some respite on that volcanic island, but also in reflection of our northern ancestors. Having internalized the sagas for over ten years, I finally began work on an operatic adaptation in 2017. Only 8 months later, I had written and composed a complete draft, but the pendulum swung hard and I suffered an anxiety-induced breakdown. After shelving the project for almost two years, I received supernatural healing and hired Andrés Soto to help me arrange a final draft that made sense for live recording. The 2020 film-adaptation process took 9 months, and we recorded and filmed Freydís and Gudrid at a Brooklyn studio in under a week. Finally, DP Sam Krueger captured backgrounds and final touches with star Micaëla Oeste in August 2021. The keying and compositing process took years, as we finished in the summer of 2023.
Jeffrey Leiser is an American director/producer, composer, and writer/editor. He made his Carnegie Hall debut in 2019 with a selection from Freydís and Gudrid. He was a 2018 Composer-in-Residence at the Guild Hall of East Hampton and is a three-time Cultural Fellow (American Scandinavian Society/Foundation/Association). His music was featured at the Whitney Museum of American Art, ‘Dreamlands’ exhibition. He won a gold medal, best score, at the Park City Film Music Festival. He has released 12 albums of original music/scores. His symphony The Summit was broadcast by ClassicFM and Radio Nacional de España and received positive reviews from Gramophone Magazine and I Care If You Listen.
Jeffrey is the founder of Set Theory Productions LLC, an affiliate of Albino Fawn Productions.
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