Theatre, 1991

The Bacchae

This collaboration between Ingmar Bergman and the composer Daniel Börtz on an opera version of Euripides' play came about at Bergman's behest.
'...An exploration of the feminine, and underneath that, the feminine in man, which cannot be suppressed unpunished.'
Bonnesen, Politiken

About the production

The libretto for the opera is based on Euripides' play The Bacchae. The original text was re-worked, and the bacchae themselves became the focus of the action. Bergman wrote an account of the previous history of the various women, which was printed in the Royal Swedish Opera programme. Instead of an anonymous group, Bergman turned the women into individuals who each behave and perform in an individual way. In other words, the group was an individualised collective, portrayed by carefully selected soloists. Bergman made an addition, creating a 14th baccha, Talatta, a non-speaking dance role performed by Marianne Orlando. Talatta functioned as the dynamic doppelganger for Dionysus. The performance was a huge success. 

The opera The Bacchae was produced for three media. In addition to the opera performances, there was also a television version, and the record company Caprice turned the television soundtrack into a double CD. In addition, Bergman subsequently staged a pure theatre version of Euripides' drama.



  • The Ingmar Bergman Archives.
  • Henrik Sjögren, Lek och raseri, Ingmar Bergmans teater 1938-2002, ( Stockholm: Carlsson Bokfölag, 2002).


  • Sylvia Lindenstrand, Dionysos
  • Laila Andersson-Palme, Teiresias
  • Sten Wahlund, Kadmos
  • Peter Mattei, Pentheus
  • Anita Soldh, Agaue
  • Berit Lindholm, Alfa
  • Paula Hoffman, Beta
  • Camilla Staern, Gamma
  • Ellen Andreassen, Delta
  • Anne-Marie Mühle, Zeta
  • Kristina Hammarström, Eta
  • Anna Tomson, Theta
  • Eva Österberg, Lambda
  • Carina Morling, Xi
  • Amelie Fleetwood, Rho
  • Lena Hoel, Sigma
  • Helena Ströberg, Tau
  • Ingrid Tobiasson, Omega
  • Marianne Orlando , (unknown part)
  • Carl-Magnus Dellow, The soldier
  • Per Mattsson, The shepherd
  • Peter Stormare, The messenger
  • Kicki Bramberg
  • Kjell Ingebretsen, Conductor
  • Ulla Åberg, Dramaturgy
  • Bengt Wanselius, Stills photographer
  • Euripides, Author
  • Göran Österberg, Stage manager
  • Sylvia Ingemarsson, Editing (TV version)
  • Donya Feuer, Choreography
  • Thebanska gråterskor ur Kungliga Teaterns kör, Choir
  • Daniel Börtz , Music
  • Kungliga hovkapellet, Orchestra
  • Katarina Sjöberg, Producer
  • Ingmar Bergman, Director
  • Irene Frykholm, Assistant director
  • Lennart Mörk, Designer
  • Anna Bergman, Assistant designer
  • Göran O Eriksson, Translation
  • Jan Stolpe, Translation