An optional excursion is planned for Wednesday, March 18, 2020 as a prelude to the Stockholm Conference for those who are able to arrive a day earlier. We will depart central Stockholm at about 9:00AM by bus for a tour of the Drottningholm Theatre out at the suburb of Drottningholm.
This theatre, one of the only ones to have survived since the 18th century intact, was the site of efforts to restore the opera of the period in its original setting. It was originally built in 1747 as a court theatre for Queen Lovisa Ulrika, the sister of Frederick the Great of Prussia. Opened in 1754 it was home to the resident French troupe of du Londel, but also hosted Italian opera buffa by such visiting troupes as the Mingotti, whose maestro di cappella Francesco Uttini eventually became kapellmästare to the Swedish court. The original theatre burned in 1762, with the present building inaugurated two years later with its present decorations. During the subsequent reign of Gustav III, it was often used for a variety of purposes during the Summer months, when the court was in residence at Drottningholm. These included performances put on by court amateurs, previews of operas and dramas for the coming year at the Royal Theatres in town, and various carousels and performances by others. After 1792 it fell into disuse, and served as a repository for various furniture and eventually stage decorations. Although there was a brief flurry of residency as a hunting lodge in the 1800s, it remained in situ until 1921 when Agne Beijer began the restoration process. Today, it houses one of the most continuously active 18th century theatres that have survived; the original set decorations (found in an archival house nearby) have been faithfully recreated, and the original candles replaced by electric lights of exactly 1 candlepower.
Following the tour, we will proceed by bus to Haga Park, where lunch is planned nearby the Koppartelten (Copper Tents), erected in 1787 by Gustav III to a design by Jean Desprez, his theatre set designer, at the Ulriksdals Värdshus.
After lunch, we will take a tour of the Ulriksdal Theatre at Ulriksdal Palace, called Confidencen. This in house theatre was build in 1751 as a gift to Lovisa Ulrika by her husband, Adolph Fredrik, and used during those times when the court migrated to this country estate. It was extensively used by Gustav III as a place to premiere new works for the court. After his assassination, however, it was closed, and in 1860 all of the stage machinery was dismantled in order for it to be transformed into a hunting lodge for the King. After the reopening of Drottningholm, it was revived in 1965, and the restored theatre was inaugurated in 2003 with restored stage machinery and the original blueprints.
Following this tour, we will return to central Stockholm for an evening of exploration before the conference begins on Thursday.
The cost for this option is $35 (on the registration form), and due to the transportation limitations, the tour can only accommodate 29 or 30 people. Partners are welcome, and these should either register separately only for the tour or along with the conference participants.