Children, work environment and increased artistic ambitions in focus

By on April 23, 2019
Sören Vilks

On Monday, April 15, the Swedish National Property Board, SFV, submitted a project report and the home office to the government, which summarizes and describes a possible solution for the New Opera project in the Opera. The aim of the project is to make the house more accessible, expand the children’s and youth activities, improve the working environment and further increase the level of ambition in the artistic activities and safeguard the cultural-historical heritage.

Already in 2013, the government commissioned SFV and the Royal Opera to develop a plan to catch up with neglected maintenance with the consequence of a lack of work environment and in 2015 SFV presented a preliminary study of the project. Since then, the plans have been further concretized and the home office that SFV submitted on Monday describes the common agency’s and the Royal Opera’s common vision.

– The work to get to where we are today has been time-consuming but important in order to ensure that we can present solutions that will really give us the opportunity to develop our artistic activities, especially with regard to children and young people who are highly prioritized, says Birgitta Svendén, CEO of the Royal Opera and adds:

– Today we receive between 50-60,000 young people and every fifth visitor goes to our child, youth and family activities. With the extra stage included in the proposal, we get the opportunity to reach the goal we set to double the number of children and young visitors when we open again.

The earliest possible start of construction for a New Opera in the Opera will be 2023 and the house is expected to be completed by 2027. But first should the report with the request be approved by the government.

– We are pleased that we now have a proposal on how we can create a New Opera in the Opera where the needs of the Opera are fulfilled while at the same time utilizing the cultural-historical and architectural values ​​of the building and the cityscape, says Ingrid Eiken Holmgren, Director General of the National Property Board.

The project description shows the importance of the Royal Opera being perceived as more open and welcoming to all. The objective of the project is to provide the city with an open, accessible meeting place, where the needs of citizens with disabilities are recovered. And through the opera house’s unique location towards Gustav Adolf’s square and Kungsträdgården, the building can help make the area inviting and even more vibrant.

– The actual design of the opera house is not yet decided, but it is clear that it would send an important signal if we could open up an entrance also to the Kungsträdgården, says Birgitta Svendén.

Production time requires approximately four years of evacuation of the building. Meanwhile, the Royal Opera will continue to operate but in different places in the country.

– The time that the Opera House is being rebuilt we will use as a fantastic opportunity to strengthen our mission as the national scene by cooperating with various cultural practitioners around the country and here at home. We are embarking on an exciting journey that we otherwise never had the opportunity to, where we have to meet new audiences and challenge ourselves. And I think that will actually revitalize and strengthen our creativity, concludes Birgitta Svendén.

Helena Olofsson, Culture & Music | Kungsträdgården