How can historic heritage be implemented without coming to a standstill? And what is the core of a heritage that reproduces history, yet also finds new roads and unites people? To answer these questions, we had to convince the Opera to dare to show its feelings.

The Royal Opera of Sweden was founded already in 1773 by King Gustav III, and is Sweden’s premier stage for opera and ballet. Today over 1000 people work at the Opera, and roughly half of those are employed full-timed. The staff includes everyone from directors, singers and royal dancers to chiropractors and security personnel. The Opera building itself consists of over 800 rooms. One of them, which is decorated with pure gold, is reserved especially for the Swedish Royal family. The Opera has over 300,000 visitors every year, from all corners of the world.

The Royal Opera is currently facing a huge renovation project to modernize the grand stage and create a better work environment. At the same time, they wanted to renew and modernize the Opera as a brand. For example, they plan to offer more experimental efforts and more productions aimed at children and young adults. The Opera house will also make itself more open to the public, by being more inclusive and accessible.

Together with the staff at the Opera we created a new brand platform with clear definitions of their core values. We also identified what actions needed to be taken in order to make good on their promises  – and thus drive the business forward. In other words: in addition to the many productions, the beautiful venue and the extensive history, we wanted to identify the inherent core of the visitor and staff experience. We wanted to capture the function of the Opera in society – yesterday, today and tomorrow.

Learning history, finding histories
Our approach was to merge the historic perspective with contemporary stories and events in order to find the common denominator of the Opera’s DNA.

The inside mirror
We incorporated reflection and analysis of the Opera’s view of itself, the perspective of the outside world, and the task at hand.

Values through consequences
Through the use of a couple catchwords, we formulated actions and consequences that will work as proof points in all future activities and communication.

Hunting for reasons
We asked: what really drives us and what is our reason for being?

Strategy puzzle
Together we chose paths, priorities and formations.