The Forest Opera is one of the most beautiful and venues in Europe, with an impressive accoustic set-up. The whole area comprises 4 hectares and can hold up to 4400 spectators, while the orchestra pit can hold around 110 musicians.
The history of the Forest Opera began 100 years ago in 1909.
The opening ceremony took place August 11th 1909
Conradin Kreutzer's Das Nachtlager in Granada was performed on that day at 7 pm.
The orchestra was conducted by the Gdansk-born Emil Schwarz and the whole project was overseen by its co-creator P Walher-Schaffer.
In 1922 Wager's 'Siegfried' was performed and the artistic merit of the show won the aclaim of German critics, and so the decision was taken to hold a Wager festival every year.
The next premiere (Wagner's The Valkyrie) was held in 1924.
The Forest Opera underwent modernisation and the standardisation of its repertoir (from 1922 with the exception of D'Albert's Nizinami Auguna and Beethoven's 'Fidelio', only Wager operas were performed) became famous throughout Europe and became known as the second Beyreuth.
Only the most famous singers performed there: Sven Nilson, Erna Schluter along with internationally acclaimed conductors: Karl Tutein, Roger Heger and Franz con Hoesslin.
The Forest Opera lived on through hard times. Even during the war, the Forest Opera functioned until 1943. However, the standard of production fell. The Opera struggled to regain its former status until 1961.
It was eventually saved by the International Song Festival. The first festivals were held at the Gdansk shipyards although this venue was unsuitable in terms of accoustics. A suggestion was made to move the festival to the Forest Opera.
In 1964, The Forest Opera was covered with a roof which not only protected the venue from the weather, but also improved accoustics. The first performance held under the roof was 'Halka' by St. Moiuszka. (7 July 1964).
The events of 1980 put a temporary stop to all performances.
In 1984 the Sopot International Song Festival was resumed.
As well as the yearly festivals, there have been a large number of one-off concerts and events.
Currently The Forest Opera is one of the most beautiful and venues in Europe, with an impressive accoustic set-up. The whole area comprises 4 hectares and can hold up to 4400 spectators, while the orchestra pit can hold around 110 musicians.
The following Polish artists have performed there. Czerwone Gitary, Niebiesko-Czarni, Trubadurzy, Czesław Niemen, Skaldowie, Budka Suflera, Grzegorz Ciechowski, Justyna Steczkowska, Grzegorz Turnau, DEMONO, Natalia Kukulska, Maryla Rodowicz, BAJM, Edyta Górniak, Robert Chojnacki, Kayah, Perfect, Blue Cafe, Wilki, Krzysztof Krawczyk, Manam, Myslovitz, Ryszard Rynkowski, Stachursky, Varius manx, Zakopower, Golec Orkiestra, Brathanki, Kabaret Ani Mru Mru, Dno, Łowcy B, Oratorium Piotra Rubika...
The following foreign artistis have performed.: Gloria Geynor, Charles Aznavour, Jose Felicjano, Marillion, Colosseum, OMD, Jimmy Sommervile, Annie Lennox, Deep Forest, Kim Wilde, Paul Young, Kelly Family, ZZ Top, Beverly Craven, East 17, Al. Bano & Romina Power, Backstreet Boys, The Corrs, James Brown, Earth, Wind & Fire, Ace of Base, Chris Rea, Goran Bregovič, Whitney Houston, Lionel Richie, Texas, Bryan Adams, Lou Bega, UB40, Zuchero, Garou, Ricky Martin, Kate Ryan, Jon Andreson, Eric Burdon & The Animals, Mel C, Joshua Redman, Ivo Pogorelich, Jethro Tull...In June 1997 an indoor concert hall was opened with a 300 capacity.
Other performers include.: światowej sławy zespół wokalny A SEI VOCI, Krystyna Prońko, Michał Bajor, Hanna Banaszak, Elżbieta Adamiak, Adrianna Biedrzyńska, Elektryczne Gitary, Grzegorz Turnau, Anna Szałapak, Kabaret Koń Polski, Łucja Prus, Wojciech Młynarski, T.Love, Sistars, Bajm, Kenny Gareth, Hey, Mika Urbaniak, Branford Marsalis, Kenny Garrett...
The venue is also home to the Polish Philharmonic Sopot, lead by Wojchiech Rajski, an orchestra known throughout the world having recorded numerous Cds, mainly in Germany.