The 2011 Birgit Nilsson Prize Award Ceremony
On 13 October 2011 Maestro Riccardo Muti received the 2011 Birgit Nilsson Prize at a festive Ceremony in the presence of the Royal Family at the Royal Swedish Opera in Stockholm. During the Ceremony the renowned American Metropolitan Opera soprano Sondra Radvanovsky performed. Also performing was the Swedish Radio Choir and the Royal Opera Choir accompanied by the Royal Swedish Orchestra under the baton of Gianandrea Noseda.
The Birgit Nilsson Prize is dedicated to outstanding achievement in opera and concert. Many prominent figures from the music world, culture and politics attended when Maestro Riccardo Muti received the Birgit Nilsson Prize of 1 million US$. Maestro Riccardo Muti was chosen by an international Panel of five opera experts from the countries where Birgit Nilsson was most active during her career.
Prof. Rutbert Reisch, President of the Birgit Nilsson Foundation, opened the festivities. Sondra Radvanovsky was accompanied by the Royal Swedish Orchestra under the baton of Gianandrea Noseda. Thereafter Birgitta Svendén, Managing Director of the Royal Swedish Opera, gave the laudatio in honour of Maestro Riccardo Muti. H.M. King Carl XVI Gustaf presented the Birgit Nilsson Prize to Maestro Riccardo Muti. To conclude, the Royal Swedish Opera Choir and the Swedish Radio Choir accompanied by the Royal Swedish Orchestra performed.
The doors opened at 17:00h and the ceremony started at 18:00h. After the ceremony, the audience was invited to an official cocktail reception at the Royal Swedish Opera by the Birgit Nilsson Foundation. For invited guests, a Gala Dinner in Maestro Riccardo Muti’s honour was hosted in the presence of H.M. King Carl XVI Gustaf and H.M. Queen Silvia.
Award Ceremony 2011 Video
The Royal Swedish Opera - venue of the Birgit Nilsson Prize Award Ceremonies 2009 and 2011
The Kungliga Operan or Royal Swedish Opera is the venue of the Birgit Nilsson Prize Award Ceremonies. Birgit Nilsson made her first appearance at the Royal Opera on 9 October 1946 in the role of Agathe in Carl Maria von Weber's Der Freischütz. She made her breakthrough as Lady Macbeth the following year. For a decade Birgit Nilsson was a permanent member of the Royal Opera. Until 1981, she regularly performed at the opera house as a guest singer.
The Royal Swedish Opera is the national stage for opera in Sweden. Over the years, it has sent many outstanding opera singers out into the world. Jenny Lind, Christina Nilsson, Jussi Björling and Birgit Nilsson are but a few of the legendary Swedish singers who once made their debut at the Royal Opera. And the tradition continues with singers like Nina Stemme, Katarina Dalayman, Peter Mattei and many more besides.
The Royal Opera lies in the centre of Stockholm, opposite the Royal Palace. It was designed by Axel Johan Anderberg and was finished 1899. It is a majestic neo-classical building with a magnificent gold foyer and an elegant, grand marble staircase leading to a three-tiered auditorium. It presently seats 1,200 guests.
Today the Royal Opera employs some 600 people on a permanent basis. Its orchestra, The Royal Opera Orchestra, counts 112 members and is Scandinavia's largest orchestra, as well as one of the oldest in the world, having originated in the 16th century.
Birgitta Svendén has been the General Director of the Royal Swedish Opera since 2010.
More information at www.operan.se