Tristessa Synopsis, audio samples

"Tristessa is a knockout that floored me from the start!"

"Bohlin’s style is generally very direct – this is intelligent, accessible and enjoyable music."

"the score by Jonas S. Bohlin underlined the dramatic action with intensity"



A full-length opera premiered at the Royal Opera house in Stockholm

in October 2018.

Kungliga Operans inspelning grovmix ACT 1 

Part of Intro, Mother and Young Tristessa

Lailah and the Apartment

ACT 1 Mother and the Operation


An opera in 2 acts by Jonas S. Bohlin, Torbjörn Elensky and Ann-Sofi Sidén

"I’m inching my way towards the beginning and the end of time.

I have not reached the end of the maze yet. I descend lower.

I must go further, descend lower."

Angela Carter from The Passion of new Eve


Tristessa is a stage performance that addresses some of the most burning issues of our time.

The plot resists the grip of time and launches into a vision of a future that appears both tempting and terrifying. It describes the destruction and rebirth of a human being caught in a narrative where gender and identity are the driving forces that propel the piece towards an entirely unpredictable end.

The principal character appears in a spectacular setting that moves from chtonic caves via dystopian cities to palaces of ice and light. It is not only a physical journey, but also an inner journey, a dream play that calls the greatest social myth of Western culture into question.

Commissioned by the Royal Swedish Opera, Stockholm, in 2011, Tristessa is an adaptation of Angela Carter’s novel The Passion of New Eve (due to open in October 6 2018). The work is performed in English.


Young Tristessa - Mezzo Johanna Rudström

Evelyn - Tenor Joel Anmo

Eve - Mezzo Johanna Rudström

Old Tristessa - Tenor Joel Anmo

Mother - bass-baritone John Erik Eleby

Lilith/Leilah – Coloratura Soprano Kerstin Avemo

Nurse - Soprano Susann Vegh

Zero – bass-baritone  John Erik Eleby

Zero’s seven women – Sopranos and Altos from the choir.

Choir – Mixed Choir


2 flutes plus 1 piccolo, 2 oboes, 2 clarinets plus 1 bass clarinet, 2 bassoons plus 1 contrabassoon, 3 horns, 3 trumpets, 2 trombones plus 1 bass trombone, 4 percussion instruments, 1 celeste, 1 harp, 1 harpsichord, strings

Director Katharina Thoma

Lighting designer Olaf Winter

Conductor Fredrik Burstedt