When the international music stars are stood on the stage tomorrow evening during the Eurovision Song Contest in Stockholm, ABBA will as usual be a topic of conversation again. The Swedish “Fab Four” won the competition in 1974 with “Waterloo” – the start of a breath-taking career.
Now the contest is returning to Sweden. We spoke to the ABBA star, Björn Ulvaeus, about the famous ABBA costumes, which will be exhibited outside Sweden for the first time ever during the CHIO Aachen 2016 (July 8th-17th), about the Opening Ceremony and about the secret of a good show.
Question: For the first time ever, “ABBA – The Museum” is going on tour and will be exhibited outside Sweden – at the CHIO Aachen…
Björn Ulvaeus: Excuse me? The ABBA Museum? Outside Sweden? That is impossible. Is that really true? And then the famous costumes will be on display in Aachen? Wow! We designed the costumes together with Owe Sandström. He created some exceptional models, which were slightly modified afterwards after once we had discussed them together. Each outfit was thus the outcome of a joint effort and became something special with its own history. It is great that they will now also be exhibited in Aachen. Of course, when you see photos of ABBA today, the fantastic costumes catch your eye straight away, everyone remembers them. An awful lot of them are Owe Sandström.
Question: Owe Sandström is not just a famous designer, he is also a director of great shows. He will be jointly staging the Opening Ceremony in Aachen together with Lars Nilsson, the team from Aachen and the Director of the Aachen Grenzlandtheater, Uwe Brandt – you know Uwe well…
Björn Ulvaeus: Yes, he is a good friend of mine. Owe is a dedicated and passionate person. A fantastic designer and an exceptional director. The CHIO Aachen visitors can certainly look forward to him and the show. I promise you.
Question: Sweden will dominate the Opening Show of the CHIO Aachen. The final of the Eurovision Song Contest is on Saturday, you spent many years performing on stage yourself. What turns something into a good show? When is it a success?
Björn Ulvaeus: A good show is simply good from the beginning to the end. That is how ABBA always worked. That applied for the texts, the shows, the costumes – for everything. There is no place for anything in a really convincing show that doesn’t meet the highest demands. But you have got Owe, so you don’t have to worry about a thing, the Opening Ceremony will be super.
Question: Your fellow-countryman and last year’s winner Måns Zelmerlöw will be hosting the Song Contest – What is your opinion of him?
Björn Ulvaeus: He is a very talented young man, who has already done a lot of things right. He is extremely popular in Sweden, not just as a singer, but also as the presenter of a well-known TV show. After his Eurovision Song Contest victory, his is, of course, famous all over Europe.
Question: Her Royal Highness Queen Silvia and the Royal Guards are coming to Aachen. What significance does the Queen and the monarchy have for your country?
Björn Ulvaeus: The majority of the people in Sweden are fans of the monarchy. The Royal Family is very popular and this is exactly how we Swedes want things to remain.
Tickets are available for the Opening Ceremony at www.chioaachen.de or from the hotline on +49-(0)241 917-1111