ADELCRANTZ, Carl Fredrik
(b. 1716, Stockholm, d. 1796, Stockholm)

Interior view

Palace Theatre, Drottningholm

The theatre at Drottningholm Palace, west of Stockholm's city centre is considered one of the best preserved theatres of the world. It is one of the few 18th century theatres in Europe that is still used as a theatre with its original stage machinery.

The building that Adelcrantz created was unusual architecturally in several respects. Most notably, although the theatre was intended to mimic Versailles's artistic style, the lack of funds of the Swedish Treasury forced a much sparser style. The exterior of the building is very plain in comparison to other palatial theatres, in the style of a country manor with no indication from the exterior that an opera house is inside.

The interior, decorated by Adrien Masreliez (1748-1810), uses trompe l'oeil, papier-mâché, and stucco to imitate more expensive materials like marble and gold. The theatre is also architecturally unusual for its shape, since the auditorium is shaped like a T with the two thrones for the reigning monarchs placed in the cross of the T in front of the stage and the rest of the court seated on wooden benches. The stage is also unusually deep, which helped the set designers to create optical allusions of great distance on the stage.