The Secret Songs
Elvis Costello was commissioned by the Royal Danish Opera to write The Secret Songs, a chamber opera concerning Danish author Hans Christian Andersen, Swedish singer Jenny Lind, and American entrepreneur P.T. Barnum.
Ten of the songs were premiered at three concerts in Denmark in October 2005, with Elvis singing the Andersen and Barnum roles and Gisela Stille playing Lind.
- 01. American Humbug
- 02. My Toy Theatre
- 03. Illustrated Lady
- 04. How Deep Is The Red? - sung by Gisela Stille
- 05. She Was No Good
- 06. The Misfit - sung by Gisela Stille
- 07. She Handed Me A Mirror
- 08. He Has Forgotten Me Completely - sung by Gisela Stille and Elvis Costello
- 09. Red Cotton
- 10. The Famous Artificial Bird
A full production of the opera (with a trained singer replacing Elvis) was promised for the 2006-2007 season.
In April 2006 it was announced that the opera would premiere March 1, 2007 in Copenhagen. By October that plan had been scaled back. Rather than a full production of the opera, the show would combine songs from The Juliet Letters with some of The Secret Songs.
- Part 1: The Juliet Letters
- 01. For Other Eyes
- 02. Swine
- 03. Expert Rites
- 04. I Almost Had A Weakness
- 05. Why?
- 06. Who Do You Think You Are?
- 07. This Offer Is Unrepeatable
- 08. Dear Sweet Filthy World
- 09. This Sad Burlesque
- 10. Romeo's Seance
- 11. The First To Leave
- 12. Taking My Life In Your Hands
- 13. The Birds Will Still Be Singing
- Part 2: The Secret Songs
- 14. My Toy Theatre
- 15. How Deep Is The Red?
- 16. Illustrated Lady
- 17. The Misfit
- 18. American Humbug
- 19. He Has Forgotten Me Completely
- 20. She Handed Me A Mirror
In 2019 the Secret Songs were performed as part of a programme given by the Lunds Kammarsolister, with Gisela Stille and Fredrik Savbrant taking the parts of Jenny Lind and Hans Christian Andersen. The show was performed at the Magle Konserthus, Lund on October 2, 2019.
- Concert 2005-10-08 Copenhagen
- Concert 2005-10-09 Copenhagen
- Concert 2005-10-10 Aarhus
- Concert 2007-09-20 Nashville
- Fyens Stiftstidende, February 23, 2007