Opera på Skäret will perform Madama Butterfly in the summer of 2017. Giacomo Puccini’s classic opera about two lovers from different continents, cultural clashes and international power games will be next year’s major summertime event in Sweden.
“Madama Butterfly is a touching and eternally relevant story and Puccini’s music is among the most beautiful to be heard. Following last summer´s success with Wagner, taking on Puccini’s own favorite opera will be a delightful challenge,” says Sten Niclasson, artistic director.

Madama Butterfly will be the fourth opera by Puccini to be performed at Opera på Skäret – the previous pieces having been Tosca in 2008, the one-act Il Tabarro in 2009 and La Bohème in 2010 – the latter having been among the opera house’s greatest audience successes. Madama Butterfly is one of the most beloved works among opera audiences worldwide and is one of the operas most frequently performed at opera houses around the world. As always at Opera på Skäret, the opera will be performed in the original language, Italian, with Swedish captioning. Madame Butterfly will be performed 12 times at Opera på Skäret between July 29 and August 27.

Madama Butterfly is set in Nagasaki, Japan in about 1900 and is the story of American naval officer Pinkerton, who buys a young wife – Madame Butterfly, or Cio-Cio San, which is the geisha’s real name. What is merely a game for the naval officer turns deadly serious for the geisha, who severs the ties with her own family. Following the birth of their son, the couple’s relationship develops into a drama of life and death.

“Madama Butterfly is the ultimate emotional opera, with a moving story and music of the highest artistic level,” says Sten Niclasson.

Madama Butterfly had its world premiere at La Scala in Milan in 1904, and was performed for the first time in Sweden at the Royal Opera in Stockholm in 1908. In recent years, it has been performed to sold-out houses at both the Gothenburg Opera House and the Royal Opera.

For every production at Opera på Skäret, the cast comprises soloists of the highest international rank, each hand-picked for his/her specific qualities. Over the years, a wide range of world stars have sung here, and several foreign soloists have debuted for Swedish audiences on the Opera på Skäret stage. The performers, production team, orchestra and conductor was presented in early 2017. To see presentations of cast and production team, click the buttons below.

“With stunning performers in all roles, an internationally recognized conductor, a renowned opera orchestra and our fantastic choir, we hope to offer a unique interpretation of this work with the intimacy and nerve that are our hallmark.” says Sten Niclasson.

Performing cast Production team



In conjunction with next summer’s production of Madama Butterfly, we are offering a half-hour introduction to the opera just before the performances. Sten Niclasson, Opera på Skäret’s founder and artistic director will talk about Opera på Skäret, Madama Butterfly and the thinking behind the staging of this Puccini masterpiece. The half-hour introduction begins 45 minutes before the show, and costs 175 SEK per person, including sparkling wine and canapés.


Opera supé with delicacies from Bergslagen
Why not combine your visit with an opera supé? We offer two-course meals based on local foods from the forests, lakes and streams, such as elk, wild boar, venison and trout, accompanied by selected wines that especially suit game and game fish. Special dietary meals are available on request.


In cooperation with selected caterers, we offer a stylish intermission menu to suit all tastes, from coffee and cake to champagne with elegant canapés. Intermission refreshments can be ordered online in advance either on a group or individual basis. It is also possible to make special requests in advance.


Opera på Skäret

At Opera på Skäret, Swedish and international audiences witness world-class opera. Several of the opera literature’s greatest works have been played here with internationally established singers performing, as well as young, promising, rising stars. Many singers have had their big breakthrough by performing at the festival and Opera på Skäret has therefore made a name for itself as really being “the Singers Opera house”.

Several of the big opera classics have been played here – such as La Traviata, Rigoletto, Aida, Tosca, La Bohème and Carmen. In 2011 we hit the record of most amount of visitors, when 11 500 visitors came to the festival to see Carmen.

Among the singers that have performed at Opera på Skäret through the years, there have been some great international stars from many different countries and from four different continents, such as Stuart Neill, Sandra López, Kristian Benedikt, Robert Hyman, Yana Kleyn, César Augusto Gutiérrez, Javier Palacios, Levente Pàll, Guido Paevetalu, Franco Federici and Ole Jörgen Kristiansen. Among the Swedish greats that have performed here are Tito Beltrán, Birgitta Svendén, Ingrid Tobiasson, Charlotta Larsson, Gitta-Maria Sjöberg and Matilda Paulsson.


Opera på Skäret was founded by Sten Niclasson, an opera singer and director with a background at Göteborgsoperan. The story began one summers day in 1996, when he was visiting a friend in the area, and when going for a drive they ended up at this old saw mill by the lake, that hadn’t been in use for many years. The discovery of this massive building birthed an idea for Sten Niclasson – to create an opera stage on this beautiful location by a lake, surrounded by forests and mountains.

A couple of years later it was time for the premiere, two opera galas with internationally renowned singers. The following summer it was a concert version of Verdi’s La Traviata at Opera på Skäret, and since then there has been at least one opera every year –sometimes two – complete with own scenography and costumes. There has also been Opera- and operetta concerts, pub nights with spontaneous performances by the opera singers and musicians, as well as different art exhibitions at Skäret. These festivals have filled the local area with music and art for two whole summer months.

The Opera house has now reached a certain status, and has earned a reputation as an internationally acclaimed opera stage where both Swedish and foreign singers gladly return to perform. The repertoire, with focus on having well known works, has also drawn many less experienced opera visitors to Skäret, quite often for their very first opera- experience. With popular works and world-class performances, Sten Niclasson has realized part of his vision – to spread the opera art to a partly new audience. Opera på Skäret is also the only opera house in the world with it’s own train station, and every year fully booked, chartered “opera trains” from Stockholm come to Skäret to see the opera.

You can read a more detailed history here and read the reviews in the side bar.

Opera as a driving force

Opera på Skäret has through the years generated many millions of Swedish crowns to the local businesses. Through for example restaurants and accommodation for our visitors. Opera på Skäret has therefore become a driving force in the development of the local area and a sleepy small town. Economically, Opera på Skäret rely on three sources of income – ticket sales, funding from the state and private sponsors, with the ticket sales being the main source of income. Opera på Skäret is what it is today because of many peoples hard work, and because of various collaborations between private persons and official bodies, universities / the academic world and the regions local businesses, and also many cultural institutions and forward thinking politicians. Hundreds of people have with their engagement and often voluntary work contributed to the vibrant life the festival has today.