By Bori, Senior Reporter
Arendelle’s expanding global footprint, along with its increased contact with countries and cultures across continents, has given it unprecedented access to some serious cultural talents. From art and music to theatre and the printed press, Arendelle is emerging as a plausible alternative, if still inferior relative to, Paris, Amsterdam, and London as a European cultural center.
Critics and writers in the clubs of England, the tea houses of Constantinople, and the saloons of the western United States are all talking about visiting (and resident) talents eager to have a showing in Arendelle, for they will be performing for a most extraordinary royal pair who surpass even Britain’s Victoria in queenly charisma: Anna and Elsa.
First, Kingdom Hall. Now, the world
Shortly after Countess Vi became Anna’s ally and Arendelle’s prime minister, she quickly set about working on one of her pet projects: a great cultural hub that would catapult Arendelle onto the map of Europe’s cultural scene. Pouring considerable funds from her own coffers, the noblewoman-vampire established Arendelle’s first orchestral ensemble, the Arendelle Philharmonic. The palace supported this one-of-a-kind venture, with Anna disbanding the smaller royal troupe that traditionally performed only for the royal family and during coronations or national festivals. Its members were offered employment within the Arendelle Philharmonic, and the overwhelming majority chose to make their mark on this new period of Arendellian cultural history.
“What can I say?” Lady Mundilfari told me in an interview I held with her recently (disclosure of interest: The Arendelle Guardian is owned by the countess and its editors and reporters employed by her). “Arendelle was always a bit of a cultural desert, and my grandfather, Mayer, was too obsessed with controlling Agnarr and the royals – which, to be fair, was something I might have done, had Anna not made me see my folly. In any case, after annihilating my parents and immediate family…”
After noticing a raised eyebrow from yours truly, she continued: “… which is completely in line with our family’s tradition of combat succession, I’ll have you know – I decided to be a patron of the arts, which I’ve always wanted to be since I began playing the piano as a little girl. Now I’ve personally sponsored over ten or so musical prodigies, many of them from less advantageous backgrounds, who enjoy full music scholarships so that they can be trained to be part of the Arendelle Philharmonic.”
New Talent from Abroad
In a recent interview with the kingdom’s papers, Anna confessed that she had been influenced by Vi to indulge in the finer arts. “I’ve actually been attending performances more often, allowing myself the time to enjoy the incredible work that the Arendelle Philharmonic does.”
The presence of Fujiwara Takako and the shogun’s delegation in our Nordic kingdom has brought a distinctly Japanese flavor to the artistic life of the kingdom, with increasing Japano-Arendellian cultural exchanges regarding painting, calligraphy, pottery, and drama performances. The renowned Clara Schumann, accomplished pianist and wife of the illustrious Robert Schumann, has written to the palace, proposing that she make a visit from Germany to perform at Kingdom Hall. In a letter, Mrs. Schumann stated: “News of Arendelle’s growing cultural sway has travelled far and wide, and my recent marriage to my husband has made our partnership in musical compositions and performances prosper. I would be honored to perform for Your Majesty and your sister, the Snow Queen, if you deem my skills worthy of your audience.”
Finally, it is whispered in Anna’s courtly circles that the queen has recently recruited a opera performer from Spain. The queen has remained tight-lipped, but a leak from the governors of Kingdom Hall has revealed that a certain Luna Bourbon has been chosen as the queen’s personal maestro. Ms. Bourbon’s origins are shrouded in mystery, but the leak has also disclosed to reporters that she had been actually fleeing from her home country, traversing across Europe and hiding from pursuing enemies. Spain may be a decaying empire wracked by internal conflict, but rumor has it that the fearsome Guardia Civil – or Civil Guard – is on the hunt for this Luna Bourbon. The Guardia Civil is a new national police force that was founded only just this year, in 1844, by the 2nd Duke of Ahumada, Francisco Javier Girón. There are concerns among General Mattias’ High Command that sheltering this apparent fugitive, even in the name of employing an accomplished artistic talent, could lead to tensions with a European power.
For now, however, Spain’s Guardia Civil has not yet contacted the government of Arendelle – yet.
The cultural developments in our kingdom are interlinked with the political and personal choices of our queen. The Arendelle Guardian doesn’t have all the answers, but our paper’s editor calls for all our people and citizens to support the queen, a flawed and imperfect leader, as people always are… but the best leader we have had since her sister and predecessor, Elsa.