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‘ABBA-tars’ wow on opening night

ABBA took the stage once more, albeit in the form of avatars, for the hotly anticipated debut of the ABBA Voyage show in London.

The inaugural event was actually attended by the members of ABBA, Agnetha Faltskog, Anni-Frid Lyngstad, Björn Ulvaeus and Benny Andersson. It was their first public appearance in 14 years.

The concert has been planned since 2016 and uses technology to recreate ABBA in their prime in the 1970s, performing their greatest hits. To create their avatars and the concert, the band members performed in motion capture suits across five weeks, with 160 cameras focused on scanning body movements and facial expressions.

This was then used by animators and visual effects artists to create avatars, or ‘Abba-tars’ as they are affectionately known as.

It was reported at the end of last year that over 300,000 tickets had been sold for ABBA Voyage, which is located at the ABBA Arena in London’s Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park.

More than a quarter of these sales came from fans overseas.

At the star-studded premier, Svana Gisla told the BBC: “We want to pull on the emotions. So, if you come out of here and feel like you’ve seen a visual spectacle, we will have failed. If you come out of here and you’ve laughed and you’ve cried and you can’t wait to go back, that’s what we want.”

The show is due to run in London until December 2022, then the purpose-built arena can be broken down and taken on the road.

Image: @ABBAVoyage