»During the jubilee year we will
broaden the definition of opera
and what an opera house can be«
MICHAEL CAVANAGH, Artistic Director Opera
The Royal Swedish Opera presents world-class directors and soloists every year, offering both traditional classics and newly-written works.
The Royal Swedish Opera is Sweden’s national theatre for the operatic arts. Since its inception in 1773, the directors, set designers and singers have been stewards of the European operatic tradition, while also pushing the boundaries of the art form.
In 2021, Michael Cavanagh was appointed Artistic Director for the Opera section at the Royal Opera. He succeeds Birgitta Svendén who has indefatigably worked at opening up opera house to new audiences since 2009.
»Towards a more accessible opera house«
Artistic Director Opera
»The year 2023 will be a year of celebration,« says Opera Director Michael Cavanagh and continues, »I want to celebrate the art form. I want to celebrate what we can do with it – what we have done in the past, what we are doing right now and what we will be doing with it in the future. At the Jubilee Gala in January, we will go back to our roots, the very first days of the Royal Swedish Opera; our revivals of past works take us through some of our amazing productions, and we ask ourselves: Where do we go from here? The answer is: Towards a more accessible opera house. We welcome a diverse audience that includes Broadway fans for Sweeney Todd, gamers for concerts such as the recent DICE at the Opera, masquerade lovers to our great New Year’s Masquerade that concludes 2023 – and we will broaden the definition of opera and what an opera house can be.«
Michael Cavanagh is not only heading the Opera section as Artistic Director; he will personally direct the two works that open and close the 2023 season. The beloved Sweeney Todd by Stephen Sondheim, who recently died, will premiere in January and a new post-apocalyptic production of Mozart’s iconic Don Giovanni will reach us in December. »We begin with a dark rendering of 19th century London and end in a dark vision of the future,« he says and laughs, » but in between there is light: a magnificent production of Benjamin Britten’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream directed by Tobias Theorell and the outstanding world premiere of Melancholia, Mikael Karlsson’s opera version of Lars von Trier’s fascinating blockbuster.« Anne Sofie von Otter appears in Melancholia and also as the Countess in a concert version of Tchaikovsky’s beautiful opera The Queen of Spades. » Moreover, we will resume the Short Stories concept through which emerging composers get to try out their ideas in a triple bill of short operas. And we will also present revivals of the audience favourites Tosca, Rigoletto, Salome and Elektra. 2023 will be an amazing year.«