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A journey through four centuries

We will delve into four hundred years of operatic history during Season 2023/2024 – from the Baroque opera Platée all the way to the newly written Mythomania.

Works will be sung in Swedish, German, French and Italian. This season’s chamber concerts will follow this history in chronological order, from the Baroque to the present day. We hope that this varied repertoire will delight you as much as it does us. The theme of alienation runs throughout the season – whether self-imposed or forced – and we will experience these stories through beautiful, moving music.

In the season’s big musical – Wicked by Stephen Schwartz and Winnie Holzman – we follow a vulnerable person’s development into a confident individual, from their first tentative steps to the moment they spread their wings and fly.

In Verdi’s Nabucco, it is the forces of geopolitics causing the protagonists to distance themselves from their people, religion, or family.

In Paula af Malmborg Ward and Kerstin Perski’s Mythomania, an acclaimed star surgeon causes himself to be ostracised due to his constant lies. This first performance will be a wonderful adventure exploring what opera can represent today and highlights the public’s fascination with moral outsiders – even if we don’t approve of their actions.

Similar moral questions are explored in Mozart’s wonderful opera Don Giovanni, where the main character shuns mainstream norms by putting desire above everything else. He is a mesmerising character, despite (or perhaps because of?) his despicable behaviour.

Two outsiders shine brightly in Wagner’s Der fliegende Holländer: the doomed Dutchman and the young Senta who falls in love with his mystique. Neither of them belong in this world, nor do they have any desire to, but they finally find a sense of belonging with each other.

We are pleased to present our first Baroque opera for some time – Rameau’s Platée – where the title character wants nothing more than to fit into the wider community. Instead, she is cruelly mocked and ridiculed.

The season ends with an Italian flourish as two welcome revivals return for the spring: Puccini’s Tosca, where the title character turns her back on society to protect her lover, and Donizetti’s comic opera Viva la mamma in which the main character, the mother Agata, has no interest whatsoever in conforming with social norms.

We will also present three fabulous works on our smaller stages: Schoenberg’s Pierrot Lunaire, Johanna Fridolfsson and Malin Aghed’s children’s opera Sandvargen (The Sand Wolf) and Let’s Fall in Love, a new musical tribute to Cole Porter. These three contrasting works also fit in with the theme of social exclusion, as does the family musical A Christmas Carol, where the bitter, curmudgeonly Scrooge eventually chooses social companionship.

As audience members, you might be inspired to reflect on which of the characters you can (or want to) identify with, and how you would behave if placed in similar situations. It will be a fascinating season to examine these issues from the perspective of four hundred years of musical drama.

Concerts this season range from Vivaldi’s Gloria to Bernstein, as part of From the New World. International soloists will continue to appear on our Main Stage in the recital series Grandi Voci. We will continue our hugely popular regional touring programme with an Opera evening with musical gems.

During the season, we’ll focus on introducing children and young people to the magic of the performing arts, both through productions such as Sandvargen (The Sand Wolf) and A Christmas Carol as well as with participatory projects such as Skapa Days and the educational outreach project Opera in Schools. We sincerely hope that young people today will become as engaged in the performing arts as you and I have been.

Henning Ruhe
Artistic Director Opera/Drama