Unboxing Female Opera

Den Andra Operan (“The Other Opera”) is changing the basis of what opera can, will and may be, now and in the future, by “unboxing” the forgotten operas of female composers, bringing them out of the archives and, by highlighting these works, correcting an inaccurate historiography.

Forgotten opera treasure encounters new audiences

The “Unboxing Female Opera” project, launched by DAO in 2023 with support from Signatur Foundation Sweden, creates new forms for the encounter between audience and opera, inviting new audiences into the world of opera an at the same time allowing unheard works by women composers to regain their place in the opera repertoire.

Through a unique combination of concerts, lectures and meetings with audiences, DAO invites, surprises and introduces audiences to a rare operatic repertoire. Through its choice of performance venues and collaborative partners, the project reaches new audiences and can offer experiences to suit both those with opera experience and those with budding curiosity.

The project is based on in-depth music research, reaches the audience through its stage performances and also offers an insight into the opera process and a meeting between musicians and lecturers in new environments and contexts.

A journey of discovery through women’s opera repertoire

Through DAO’s efforts to bring previously unknown historical operatic works by women to light, new discoveries are being found. In the 2024 project, these will be presented in the form of a mini-festival, “Unboxing” concerts, lectures and a semi-staged concert.  In 2024, DAO will take a closer look at oevres including Clemence Grandval’s Mazeppa from 1892 and Augusta Holmés’ La Montagne Noire from 1895, giving audiences, as well as a large number of singers, musicians and other industry professionals, the opportunity to discover, explore and perhaps even fall in love with the female opera repertoire.

With the help of Signatur, DAO aims to create new forms of audience encounters and to reach new groups through a novel use of history, thus allowing opera to become a catalyst for social change.

Please read more about DAO in English on their website: https://denandraoperan.se/




Lecture from DAO (in Swedish)


“Since 2023, Den andra operan has been a proud recipient of donations from Signatur Foundation Sweden. The collaboration with Signatur has contributed to Den andra operan’s mission to spread knowledge about historical opera works composed by women. The donation has made it possible to organise a number of concerts and lectures where audiences have been able to encounter opera through both conversation and music. DAO has also deepened the dissemination of knowledge to the next generation of singers and musicians through collaborations with colleges and universities in Sweden and the Nordic countries. Through long-term networking with institutions, we have also been able to support the development of the opera repertoire in general, all thanks to ongoing support from Signatur.

We see a growing curiosity among audiences, a development of the Nordic opera industry and an increased knowledge of a previously hidden part of opera history among performers, which gives hope for an equal future in the world of opera and music”

Bente Rolandsdotter, Artistic Director, Den andra operan