Royal Swedish Opera opens treasure trove

By on September 6, 2018

The Royal Swedish Opera’s set- and costume design atelier in Nacka, Stockholm, is opening its doors and selling off part of its extensive collection of costumes. On September 7-8, the general public is invited to browse and shop among 4 000 unique items. The proceeds of the clearance sale are donated to the Opera’s child and youth activitites. This autumn, the Opera will also be hosting its first online auction featuring costumes and props from the Opera’s collection, as well as an auction evening in the Opera’s Golden Foyer, featuring the most exclusive pieces from the archives. These initiatives are all part of the Opera’s recycling and sustainability endeavours.

The costume atelier at the Royal Swedish Opera is uniquely positioned among the few remaining opera tailoring studios around the world. Here, everything is still made from scratch. Each costume is custom made for a specific role – and singer or dancer. Many of the costumes are designed by renowned names. The costume sale is part of the Royal Swedish Opera’s sustainability work and its wish to recycle these handcrafted costumes, giving them a new life.

“Besides the sustainability aspect, we need to free up space in our costume archive as it is over capacity today,” says Michael Glas, Head of Costumes at the Royal Swedish Opera. “It is exciting that these garments will now be used and seen in new contexts. At the same time, we are very careful about stewarding our cultural heritage, making sure to keep a selection of costumes for the future. For example, costumes worn by a special soloist, which can be showcased later in an exhibition.”

The massive sale loaded onto over 150 costume racks – includes costumes by Lennart Mörk for Ingmar Bergman’s legendary staging of The Bacchae and Marie Lindqvist’s costumes for the ballet Peer Gynt.

Helena Olofsson, Culture & Music | Stockholm