October 29, 2014

Kungliga Operan - The Royal Opera House

Exterior, photo by Mats Bäcker
Last week I was invited to a performance with the Royal Swedish Ballet at the Royal Opera (Kungliga Operan). The performance in question was "Bill", a modern dance performance in three acts. Each act choreographed by a different choreographer, featuring three of the world's most prominent choreographers: William Forsythe, Crystal Pite and Sharon Eyal. A very impressive performance by a great ensemble. I especially enjoyed "The Other You" (Pite).
Waiting for the royal family to take their seats...
This is a perfect opportunity to write a little about the Royal Opera in Stockholm. The current house is from the late 1800's and is built on the site of the old opera house. Both the Royal Swedish Ballet and Royal Opera Company were founded by King Gustav III in the late 1700's (making them some of the world's oldest companies).
Ceiling detail.
The Royal Opera House is the perfect venue for tourists who wish to see a show while visiting Stockholm. Visitors, I have noticed, are often surprised to find out that the vast majority of theatre in Sweden is performed in Swedish. But with opera, music and dance, language is really not an issue! The main calendar of regular performances extends normally from September through May. During the summer months there may be some special performances scheduled, but you also have the option of taking daytime tours of the opera house.
"The Other You - Anthony Lomuljo, Anton Valdbauer"
Photo by Urban Jörén.
This coming season, the Kungliga Operan have a lot of great shows in their calendar... including (the aforementioned) Bill, Don Giovanni, Madama Butterfly, Dialogues of the Carmelites, Raymonda and the Magic Flute as well as special lunch concerts and events. Check their calendar for exact dates. One thing that is a little troublesome for visitors is that their website is only in Swedish and you have to use the Google Translate option to get it in English or another language. It works, just not the optimal solution.
"Bill - Jérôme Marchand", photo by Urban Jörén.
Tickets can be purchased through their website, at their box office or by contacting them directly by phone during certain hours (hours and phone number on website linked here). If you are staying at the Rival Hotel, you can contact me directly for help in booking. The Royal Opera House is located just across the water from the Royal Palace in the downtown area. To get there from the Rival, it is either a 25-30 minute walk through Gamla Stan or else a short bus ride or 5 minute taxi ride.
Intermission in the "gold foyer".

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