The Icelandic Opera

Garðar Thór Cortes Operabase Opera

The Icelandic Opera (Íslenska óperan) is an opera company based in Reykjavík that produces operas and concerts.[1][2] Its productions emphasize Icelandic artists, but regularly involve foreign artists as well. The company performs between October and May every year at the Harpa concert hall, their home venue since the hall's opening in 2011.[3][4] As of October 2017, the company has produced 85 operas.[5]


The company was founded in the late 1970s by opera singer Garðar Thór Cortes.[6][7] He remained artistic director until Ólöf Kolbrún Harðardóttir, also an opera singer, took over in 1992.[8][9] Steinunn Birna Ragnarsdóttir was appointed the new director of the company in April 2015.[10][11]

The company's first performance was Leoncavallo's Pagliacci in March 1979.[12] Since then, it has performed classics by Mozart, Rossini, Bizet, Verdi, Puccini and others.

For the first 30 years of its existence, the organization performed in the cinema Gamla Bíó [is] on Ingólfsstræti in downtown Reykjavík.[7]


  1. ^ "The Icelandic Opera's Website".
  2. ^ "Members – Opera-Europa". Retrieved 2018-07-30.
  3. ^ "About The Icelandic Opera".
  4. ^ "Islenska Operan". Retrieved 2018-07-30.
  5. ^ Ćirić, Jelena (2017-10-26). "An Ambitious and Relevant Tosca". Iceland Review. Retrieved 2018-01-18.
  6. ^ "Gardar Cortes – the Godfather of Icelandic Opera". 2014-12-19. Retrieved 2018-07-30.
  7. ^ a b "Historical Sketch".
  8. ^ Nagy, Peter; Rouyer, Phillippe; Rubin, Don (2013). World Encyclopedia of Contemporary Theatre: Volume 1: Europe. Routledge. p. 461. ISBN 9781136402968.
  9. ^ "Ólöf Kolbrún Harðardóttir | Ísmús". Ísmús (in Icelandic). Retrieved 2018-07-30.
  10. ^ "New director for the Icelandic Opera". Retrieved 2018-07-30.
  11. ^ "Steinunn Birna Ragnarsdóttir". The Icelandic Opera. Retrieved 2018-07-30.
  12. ^ Atladóttir, E. [ "Íslenska óperan: aurar og eldsálir" (Master's thesis), Spring 2015, Bifröst University.