Royal Swedish Opera House

The Royal Swedish Opera House in Stockholm serves as the most recent national stage for the country’s Royal Swedish Opera (Kungliga Operan), Royal Ballet, Royal Opera Choir, and Royal Swedish Orchestra (Kungliga Hovkapellet), which dates all the way back to 1526! Barely ten years after the inauguration of the city’s original opera house, on March 16, 1792, Sweden’s King Gustav III was shot at a masquerade ball held at the opera, dying less than two weeks later. This event was actually the basis for Verdi’s opera The Masquerade Ball (Un ballo in maschera). The son of Gustav III, King Gustav IV Adolf, who did not like the opera, possibly because the place of his father’s murder was being used as a place of amusement and leisure, close it down until he was deposed in 1809. And it took until May 1812 before the Opera was organized enough to be fully opened again.

The “Gustavian” opera house remained for another century after the king’s death, but by then was so worn out, outdated, and flammable that in 1892 it was decided to finally demolish it. A new neoclassical opera house, designed by architect Axel Anderberg, was built in the same location and inaugurated by King Oscar II on September 19, 1898. The exterior of the new “Oscarian” opera house was built in the neo-classical style, while the interior was given a neo-baroque design, with the gold foyer in particular, which featured ceiling paintings by Carl Larsson, being reminiscent of the Garnier Opera in Paris.

In 1989, after almost 100 years, the building finally underwent a major renovation, with all of the audience spaces being washed, painted, re-gilded, and repaired.

  • Visited: 2012

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