Premieres at Copenhagen Opera Festival 2023

Premieres at Copenhagen Opera Festival 2023
© Per Morten Abrahamsen & Birgit Tengberg

This year's Copenhagen Opera Festival is filled with unmissable operas and concerts.

An opera about loneliness, a documentary on how to write an opera and tackling controversy, and a discovery concert about a forgotten composer.

From August 11-20, Copenhagen Opera Festival will take over the streets of the Danish capital, offering unique operatic experiences, from classics to new works.


Loneliness is sung in chorus, the world premiere of Hjem

Hjem, Josefine Opsahl & Stine Rejnholdt
August 14-22, 2023 Porten, the former Vridsløselille State Prison

An opera about the many faces of loneliness, Hjem takes the audience on a journey where loneliness is transformed into community and hope.

A genre-bending and deeply humanistic opera experience, Hjem follows Opsahl’s musical path of discovery and community-building, taking traditional structures head on and creating something new, together with Stine Rejnholdt's powerful and intimate libretto, that gives voice to the real stories of loneliness.

I am fascinated by the operatic voice as a 'primordial roar' and at the same time the almost over-domesticated tameness of the voice. In the tension between the wild and the tamed, nature and culture, violence and intimacy, HJEM becomes a hymn to the simultaneously painful and insanely beautiful in life that connects us, and calls for hope in authenticity, presence and free, analog community.
- Josefine Opsahl



En krop i konflikt – A body in conflict

August 17, 2023
Grand Teater, Copenhagen 

A documentary about the creation of Louise Alenius' opera Manualen, the story of an incurably suffering body finding peace. By creating a unique universe, Alenius tackles the subject of euthanasia from a breathtaking new angle.

Through the lens of filmmaker Birgit Tengberg, we are granted an exclusive glimpse behind the curtains, delving into the intricate makings of an opera. Uncover the essence of its creation process and much more.

Experience the composer's journey, her creative process and her thoughts on the importance of modern opera telling the difficult stories.


An evening rediscovering Leopold van der Pals

August 16, 2023
Børsen, Copenhagen 

On August 16, Copenhagen Opera Festival offers the opportunity to rediscover forgotten composers, Leopold van der Pals and Julius Johannsen, both ancestors of star cellist Tobias van der Pals.

The concert includes the Danish and European premiere of Tobias van der Pals’ arrangement of Leopold van der Pals Sonata in D-minor for cello and piano, and a first glance at van der Pals’ previously unperformed opera Hero und Leander with a performance of the final scene by soprano Dénise Beck.

Courious to know more about Leopold van der Pals? Discover the composer's music in our feature article. 

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