Björling In Sweden

"In spite of the international fame which the magic of his voice brought him, Jussi always remained a most charming and unaffected man, and never lost touch with the [Swedish] people. Throughout his career he always managed to find time in between his formal opera engagements and concerts to give at least one open-air concert at Gröna Lund, the big Stockholm fairground, where he was always assured of an enormous and enthusiastic audience made up of people other than the usual concert goers and opera habitués."   G. C. Alexander, EMI International

"On August 29, 1934, I sang for the first time at the Tivoli in Stockholm .... I had to sing with the rain pattering on my face, but I was still quite pleased with my first outdoor appearance in Stockholm.  I have sung at the Tivoli every year since then .... At these concerts the audience numbers in the tens of thousands, and it gives a singer great joy to be able to reach so many. Jussi Björling

" .... His love of Sweden and of the simple life which can be led there, especially in the scattered islands of the Stockholm archipelago, was so intense that he insisted on arranging his schedule in such a way that he could always spend several months of each year in his native country."    G. C. Alexander, EMI International

 

Jussi in front of his studio with Bongo.

 

"In the autumn of 1941 we bought the house on Siarö [island] ... a couple of years later we added a separate music studio ... This music studio became Jussi's workplace and refuge.  During summer evenings you could hear his voice through the open windows ... Quite often passing boaters put down their oars or silenced their motors to hear Jussi practice.  As dusk fell and the stars came out, whole flotillas drifted close to shore by our home to listen as his music floated out over the water." Anna-Lisa (Mrs. Jussi) Björling

On June 16, 1944, Jussi was appointed Sweden's Royal Court Singer by King Gustaf V.  At age 33, he was the youngest singer ever so honored in Swedish history.

All his life, Jussi performed extensive concert tours taking him to every corner of Sweden, and his devotion to the Swedish people was returned ten-fold.  He was known and loved throughout his country; the entire nation called him Jussi.

 Outside the Stockholm Royal Opera House

Outside the Stockholm Royal Opera House

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