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ROYAL Swedish ORCHESTRA

An opera orchestra carries the narrative forward. The music amplifies what is happening on the stage and produces goosebumps, laughter and tears in the audience. It can astonish you with a crescendo or touch you with a pianissimo. What would Swan Lake, Turandot or The Magic Flute be without the orchestra?

As far back as the time of King Gustav Vasa, the Royal Swedish Orchestra has appeared on record in the royal household. At 490 years old, it is one of the world’s oldest orchestras.

Over the years, the orchestra’s size and instrumentation has evolved from a dozen or so players and consisting of only brass and percussion sections to becoming a full-scale symphony orchestra, performing with and without vocalists.

Today, the orchestra numbers 105 players, and is one of the most renowned opera orchestras in the world. Under the direction of Patrik Ringborg, the Opera House orchestra celebrated its 490th anniversary in 2016, with an anniversary concert held on October 28, 2016.


YOUNG IN AN OLD ORCHESTRA

Three voices on playing in an opera orchestera

MIKAEL NILSSON, 33, TIMPANIST
»As a musician in the Opera House Orchestra, I get to be involved in performances with musical, dramatic and visual expressive elements. It’s fascinating to be part of the big picture in an opera house

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ELISE EIDE, 30, TUTTI CELLO
»Sometimes there are many different productions running at the same time, and that’s a fun challenge, especially when you are playing it all for the first time. For example, in some of our more extreme weeks here, you might see us rehearsing one opera by day, while at the same time playing for a ballet performance and two different operas in the evenings.«

EMILY HONEYMAN, 29, DOUBLE BASS
»The best thing about playing in an opera orchestra is that you get to play a whole new repertoire. Some of the best works ever written are operas, but you never get the chance to play these wonderful masterpieces as a musician in a symphony orchestra.«

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