A classical orchestra in Sweden has responded in the best way to homophobic hate mail it received.
The Helsingborg Symphony Orchestra received a hate filled letter from an anonymous sender last month after it performed music by LGBTI composers.
It said the decision made the author of the letter ‘want to vomit’. The author also accused the orchestra of ‘hopping on the fag train’.
Rather than throw the letter away, composer Fredrik Österling has used it construct lyrics in an original cantata. He’s called it, ‘The Fag Train’ (Bögtåget).
A cantata is a medium-length narrative piece of music for voices with instrumental accompaniment, typically with solos, chorus, and orchestra.
The Helsingborg Symphony Orchestra will perform Bögtåget in June.
Singer Rickard Söderberg approached Österling with the idea to turn the homophobic letter into a performance piece.
‘I had no hesitation when Rickard Söderberg suggested that I should set it to music,’ Österling said on Facebook.
‘By considering the text as an opera libretto, we were able to scrutinize the emotions that the anonymous sender was seeking to express.
‘And at the same time, we are doing exactly what an artistic institution should be doing; we are reflecting our times in our art.’
The orchestra shared a snippet of the piece in a short video.
‘As an artistic institution, we naturally actively relate to our surroundings and events going on around us,’ Österling said.
‘The hate letter I received reeked of contempt and fear for the love between human beings.’