Musical theatre is a form of theatrical performance that combines songs, spoken dialogue and dance. The story and emotional content of a musical – humor, love, anger – are communicated through the words, music and technical aspects of the entertainment as an integrated whole. Although musical theatre overlaps with other theatrical forms like opera and dance, it may be distinguished by the equal importance given to the music as compared with the dialogue and other elements. Since the early 20th century, musical theatre stage works have been called musicals. Although music has been a part of dramatic presentations since ancient times, modern Western musical theatre emerged during the 19th century, with many structural elements established by the works of Gilbert and Sullivan in Britain and those of Harrigan and Hart in America; these were followed by the numerous Edwardian musical comedies and the musical theatre works of American creators like George M. Cohan at the turn of the 20th century.
The Princess Theatre musicals and other smart shows like Of Thee I Sing were artistic steps forward beyond revues and other frothy entertainments of the early 20th century and led to such groundbreaking works as Show Boat and Oklahoma!. Some of the most famous musicals through the decades that followed include West Side Story, The Fantasticks, Hair, A Chorus Line, Les Misérables, The Phantom of the Opera, The Producers and Hamilton. Musicals are performed around the world, they may be presented in large venues, such as big-budget Broadway or West End productions in New York City or London. Alternatively, musicals may be staged in smaller venues, such as fringe theatre, Off-Broadway, Off-Off-Broadway, regional theatre, or community theatre productions, or on tour. Musicals are presented by amateur and school groups in churches and other performance spaces. In addition to the United States and Britain, there are vibrant musical theatre scenes in continental Europe, Australasia and Latin America.
Since the 20th century, the "book musical" has been defined as a musical play where songs and dances are integrated into a well-made story with serious dramatic goals, able to evoke genuine emotions other than laughter. The three main components of a book musical are its music and book; the book or script of a musical refers to the story, character development and dramatic structure, including the spoken dialogue and stage directions, but it can refer to the dialogue and lyrics together, which are sometimes referred to as the libretto. The music and lyrics together form the score of a musical and include songs, incidental music and musical scenes, which are "theatrical sequence set to music combining song with spoken dialogue." The interpretation of a musical is the responsibility of its creative team, which includes a director, a musical director a choreographer and sometimes an orchestrator. A musical's production is creatively characterized by technical aspects, such as set design, stage properties and sound.
The creative team and interpretations change from the original production to succeeding productions. Some production elements, may be retained from the original production. There is no fixed length for a musical. While it can range from a short one-act entertainment to several acts and several hours in length, most musicals range from one and a half to three hours. Musicals are presented in two acts, with one short intermission, the first act is longer than the second; the first act introduces nearly all of the characters and most of the music and ends with the introduction of a dramatic conflict or plot complication while the second act may introduce a few new songs but contains reprises of important musical themes and resolves the conflict or complication. A book musical is built around four to six main theme tunes that are reprised in the show, although it sometimes consists of a series of songs not directly musically related. Spoken dialogue is interspersed between musical numbers, although "sung dialogue" or recitative may be used in so-called "sung-through" musicals such as Jesus Christ Superstar, Les Misérables and Hamilton.
Several shorter musicals on Broadway and in the West End have been presented in one act in recent decades. Moments of greatest dramatic intensity in a book musical are performed in song. Proverbially, "when the emotion becomes too strong for speech, you sing. In a book musical, a song is ideally crafted to suit the character and their situation within the story; as The New York Times critic Ben Brantley described the ideal of song in theatre when reviewing the 2008 revival of Gypsy: "There is no separation at all between song and character, what happens in those uncommon moments when musicals reach upward to achieve their ideal reasons to be." Many fewer words are sung in a five-minute song than are spoken in a five-minute block of dialogue. Therefore, there is less time to develop drama in a musical than in a straight play of equivalent length, since a musical devotes more time to music than to dialogue. Within the compressed nature of a musical, the writers must develop the plot; the ma
Rosalie "Rosa" Grünberg, was a Swedish actress and opera soprano singer. She was considered one of the Swedish opera scenes prima donnas; the Stockholm-born Grünberg was one of the noted prima donnas of the Swedish opera scene in the beginning of the 1900s. She made her play stage debut in 1898 in Bröllopet på Ulvåsa at the Svenska Teatern, she worked in that venue and other theaters owned by Albert Ranft until 1915. Amongst her performances, was a role in the play Frihetsbröderna, the opening show for the Oscarsteatern at its launch in 1906, she made her opera stage debut in Tosca in 1914 at Kungliga Operan in Stockholm. She had operatic roles as Mimosa San in Geishan, as Rosalinda in Läderlappen, as Angèle in Greven av Luxemburg, she sang more popular songs and wrote the lyrics for Karl Lundin's composition Spiskroksvalsen. She recorded songs for recording labels. During the years 1908 and 1911, she appeared in two short films; when Crown Princess Margareta visited Britain, there were rumours in Sweden that Crown Prince Gustaf VI Adolf had a secret relationship with Grünberg.
She left the performing stage for good in 1918 and wed Yngve Sjöstedt, a professor in entomology at the Naturhistoriska riksmuseet. 1908 – Amerikaminnen 1909 – Skilda tiders danser
Operetta is a genre of light opera, light in terms both of music and subject matter. Operettas have similarities to both operas and musicals, the boundaries between the genres are sometimes blurred. For instance, American composer Scott Joplin insisted that his serious but ragtime-influenced work Treemonisha was an opera, but some reference works characterize it as an operetta; some of Leonard Bernstein's works he designated as operas are categorized as operettas, his operetta Candide is sometimes considered a musical. Operettas are shorter than operas, are of a light and amusing character. Operettas are considered less "serious" than operas. While an opera's story is believable and more relatable to its audience, an operetta aims to amuse. Topical satire is a feature common to many operettas. However, satire is used in some "serious" operas as well: Formerly, in countries such as France, operas expressed politics in code – for example, the circumstances of the title character in the opera Robert le diable referred, at its first performance, to the French king's parental conflict and its resolution.
Some of the libretto of an operetta is spoken rather than sung. Instead of moving from one musical number to another, the musical segments – e.g. aria, chorus – are interspersed with periods of dialogue. There is no musical accompaniment to the dialogue, although sometimes some musical themes are played under it. Short passages of recitative are, sometimes used in operetta as an introduction to a song; the operetta is a precursor of the modern musical theatre or the "musical". In the early decades of the 20th century, the operetta continued to exist alongside the newer musical, with each influencing the other; the main difference between the two genres is that most operettas can be described as light operas with acting, whereas most musicals are plays with singing and dancing. This can be seen in the performers chosen in the two forms. An operetta's cast will consist of classically trained opera singers. A musical may use actors who are not operatically trained, the principals are called upon to dance.
These distinctions can be blurred: Ezio Pinza, Paulo Szot, Renée Fleming and other opera singers have appeared on Broadway and Broadway musicals have been remounted in opera houses. There are features of Hammerstein's Show Boat, among others; the characters in a musical may be more complex than those in an operetta, given the larger amount of dialogue. For example, the characters in Lerner and Loewe's musical My Fair Lady – based on George Bernard Shaw's 1914 play Pygmalion – are unchanged from those in Shaw's stage work, because the musical version is quite faithful to the original to the point of retaining most of Shaw's dialogue. Man of la Mancha, adapted by Dale Wasserman from his own ninety-minute television play I, Don Quixote, retains much of the dialogue in that play, cutting only enough to make room for the musical numbers which were added when the play was converted into a stage musical. Operetta grew out of the French opéra comique around the middle of the 19th century, to satisfy a need for short, light works in contrast to the full-length entertainment of the serious opéra comique.
By this time, the "comique" part of the genre name had become misleading: Georges Bizet's Carmen is an example of an opéra comique with a tragic plot. The definition of "comique" meant something closer to "humanistic," meant to portray "real life" in a more realistic way, representing tragedy and comedy next to each other, as Shakespeare had done centuries earlier. With this new connotation, opéra comique had dominated the French operatic stage since the decline of tragédie lyrique. Most researchers acknowledge that the credit for creating the operetta form should go to Hervé, a singer, librettist and scene painter. In 1842 he wrote the little opérette, L'Ours et le pacha, based on the popular vaudeville by Eugène Scribe and X. B. Saintine. In 1848, Hervé made his first notable appearance on the Parisian stage, with Don Quichotte et Sancho Pança, which can be considered the starting point for the new French musical theatre tradition. Hervé's most famous works are the Gounod-parody Le petit Mam ` zelle Nitouche.
Jacques Offenbach further developed and popularized operetta, giving it its enormous vogue during the Second Empire and afterwards. Offenbach's earliest one-act pieces included Les deux aveugles, Le violoneux and Ba-ta-clan, his first full-length operetta success was Orphée aux enfers; these led to the so-called "Offenbachiade": works including Geneviève de Brabant 1859, Le pont des soupirs 1861, La belle Hélène 1864, Barbe-bleue and La Vie parisienne both 1866, La Grande-Duchesse de Gérolstein 1867, La Périchole 1868 and Les brigands 1869. Offenbach's tradition was carried on by Emmanuel Chabrier, Robert Planquette, André Messager, others. What characterizes Offenbach's operettas is both the grotesque way they portray life, the frivolous way this is done bordering on the pornographic. Émile Zola describes the back-stage and on-stage situation in the Théâtre des Variétés during the Second Empire in his novel Nana, which takes place in late 1860s and describes the career of operetta diva/courtesan Nana.
The character was modeled after Offenbach's female star Hortense Schneider, Offenbach's librettist Ludovic Halévy gave Émile Zola the details. Considering how Zola's Nana describes an Offenbach-style operetta performance in Paris, it is not surprising that the male, upper-class audience crowded the various the
The Phantom of the Opera (1986 musical)
The Phantom of the Opera is a musical with music by Andrew Lloyd Webber and lyrics by Charles Hart. Richard Stilgoe and Lloyd Webber wrote the musical's book together. Stilgoe provided additional lyrics. Based on the eponymous French novel by Gaston Leroux, its central plot revolves around a beautiful soprano, Christine Daaé, who becomes the obsession of a mysterious, disfigured musical genius living in the subterranean labyrinth beneath the Paris Opéra House; the musical opened in London's West End in 1986, on Broadway in 1988. It won the 1986 Olivier Award and the 1988 Tony Award for Best Musical, Michael Crawford won the Olivier and Tony Awards for Best Actor in a Musical, it is the longest running show in Broadway history by a wide margin, celebrated its 10,000th Broadway performance on 11 February 2012, the first production to do so. It is the second longest-running West End musical, after Les Misérables, the third longest-running West End show overall, after The Mousetrap. With total estimated worldwide gross receipts of over $5.6 billion and total Broadway gross of $845 million, Phantom was the most financially successful entertainment event until The Lion King surpassed it in 2014.
By 2011, it had been seen by over 130 million people in 145 cities across 27 countries, continues to play in London and New York. In 1984, Lloyd Webber contacted Cameron Mackintosh, the co-producer of Cats and Song and Dance, to propose a new musical, he was aiming for a romantic piece, suggested Gaston Leroux's book The Phantom of the Opera as a basis. They screened both the 1925 Lon Chaney and the 1943 Claude Rains motion picture versions, but neither saw any effective way to make the leap from film to stage. In New York, Lloyd Webber found a second-hand copy of the original, Rapped-print Leroux novel, which supplied the necessary inspiration to develop a musical: "I was writing something else at the time, I realised that the reason I was hung up was because I was trying to write a major romantic story, I had been trying to do that since I started my career. With the Phantom, it was there!" Lloyd Webber first approached Jim Steinman to write the lyrics because of his "dark obsessive side", but he declined in order to fulfill his commitments on a Bonnie Tyler album.
Alan Jay Lerner was recruited, but he became ill after joining the project and was forced to withdraw. Richard Stilgoe, the lyricist for Starlight Express, wrote most of the original lyrics for the production. Charles Hart, a young and then-relatively unknown lyricist rewrote many of the lyrics, along with original lyrics for "Think of Me"; some of Stilgoe's original contributions are still present in the final version, however. Inspired in part by an earlier musical version of the same story by Ken Hill, Lloyd Webber's score is sometimes operatic in style but maintains the form and structure of a musical throughout; the full-fledged operatic passages are reserved principally for subsidiary characters such as Andre and Firmin and Piangi. They are used to provide the content of the fictional "operas" that are taking place within the show itself, viz. Hannibal, Il Muto, the Phantom's masterwork, Don Juan Triumphant. "Here, Lloyd Webber pastiched various styles from the grand operas of Meyerbeer through to Mozart and Gilbert and Sullivan."
These pieces are presented as musical fragments, interrupted by dialogue or action sequences in order to define the musical's "show within a show" format. The musical extracts from the Phantom's opera, "Don Juan Triumphant", heard during the latter stages of the show, are dissonant and modern—"suggesting that the Phantom is ahead of his time artistically". Maria Björnson designed the sets and over 200 costumes of the original productions, including the elaborate gowns in the "Masquerade" sequence, her set designs, including the chandelier, subterranean gondola, sweeping staircase, blended Second empire architectural detail, the 19th century stagecraft of the Palais Garnier with a contemporary design aesthetic and cutting edge late 20th century computer-controlled stagecraft, earning her multiple awards in the United Kingdom and the United States. A large gilded proscenium arch frames the show and a large chandelier in pieces ascends to the auditorium's ceiling, famously crashes to the stage at the end of the first act.
Hal Prince, director of Cabaret, Candide and Lloyd Webber's Evita, directed the production, while Gillian Lynne, associate director and choreographer of Cats, provided the integral musical staging and choreography. A preview of the first act was staged at Sydmonton in 1985, starring Colm Wilkinson as the Phantom, Sarah Brightman as Kristin, Clive Carter as Raoul; this preliminary production used Richard Stilgoe's original unaltered lyrics, many songs sported names that were changed, such as "What Has Time Done to Me", "Papers". The Phantom's original mask covered the entire face and remained in place throughout the performance, obscuring the actor's vision and muffling his voice. Maria Björnson designed the now-iconic half-mask to replace it, the unmasking sequence was added. Clips of this preview performance were included on the DVD of the 2004 film production. Phantom began previews at Her Majesty's Theatre in London's West End on 27 September 1986 under the direction of Hal Prince opened on 9 October.
Les brigands is an opéra bouffe, or operetta, by Jacques Offenbach to a French libretto by Henri Meilhac and Ludovic Halévy. Meilhac and Halévy's libretto lampoons both light theatre; the plot is cheerfully amoral in its presentation of theft as a basic principle of society rather than as an aberration. As Falsacappa, the brigand chieftain, notes: "Everybody steals according to their position in society"; the piece premiered in Paris in 1869 and has received periodic revivals in France and elsewhere, both in French and in translation. Les brigands has a more substantial plot than many Offenbach operettas and integrates the songs more into the story; the forces of law and order are represented by the bumbling carabinieri, who always arrive too late to capture the thieves, whose exaggerated attire delighted the Parisian audience during the premiere. In addition to policemen, financiers receive satiric treatment; the satire is a pretext for joyful musical romps and the frequent Italian and Spanish rhythms are more real than in real life.
A 1983 New York Times, article concluded that the music of the piece seems to have influenced Bizet in writing Carmen and noted that the librettists for this work supplied Bizet's libretto, but standard Offenbach references do not mention any such influence. Les brigands was first performed at the Théâtre des Variétés, Paris on 10 December 1869. A four-act version was subsequently prepared for a production at the Théâtre de la Gaîté, opening on 25 December 1878; the piece achieved great success. Only the outbreak of the Franco-Prussian War in the following months dampened audience enthusiasm; the work was soon popular around Europe and beyond: it was produced in Vienna, Prague, Berlin and Budapest in 1870, in New York City at The Grand Opera House in 1870–71. Paris revivals included 1885 with Léonce and Dupuis from the original cast, 1900 with Marguerite Ugalde, Mathilde Auguez and Dupuis and the same year with Tariol-Baugé, at the Gaîté-Lyrique in 1921 with Andrée Alvar, Raymonde Vécart and Jean Périer, at the Opéra-Comique in 1931 with Marcelle Denya, Emma Luart and Louis Musy.
More recent revivals have been produced at the Deutsche Oper Berlin in 1978 directed by Peter Ustinov, at the Opéra de Lyon in 1988, 1992 at Amsterdam Opera and 1993 at the Opéra Bastille, at the Opéra-Comique in 2011. The piece was translated in three acts as The Brigands by English dramatist W. S. Gilbert and published by Boosey in 1871 but was not performed until 9 May 1889 at the Casino Theatre, New York City, starring Edwin Stevens as Falsacappa, Lillian Russell as Fiorella, Fred Solomon as Pietro, Henry Hallam as the Duke, Fanny Rice as Fragoletto, with an American tour thereafter, its British premiere was on 2 September 1889 at the Theatre Royal, soon transferring to the Avenue Theatre in London, beginning 16 September 1889, running for about 16 nights until 12 October. It toured, starring Hallam Mostyn as Falsacappa, H. Lingard as Pietro, Frank Wensley as Fragoletto, Agnes Dellaporte as Fiorella, Marie Luella as the Princess of Granada, Geraldine St. Maur as Fiametta. Gilbert was displeased with his own work, which he had created to secure the British copyright, he attempted to prevent its performance in London, without success.
He objected to new songs inserted in the piece but written by another lyricist. Gilbert's arch lyrics pleased operetta audiences, who were delighted to accept a rough-and-tumble pirate band speaking impeccable drawing room English while describing dastardly deeds to gavottes and musical romps in three-quarter time. Many of the characters and situations in the piece are echoed in Gilbert and Sullivan's The Pirates of Penzance and The Gondoliers. An earlier English version by H. S. Leigh was presented at the Globe Theatre in London under the name Falsacappa, beginning on 13 September 1875. Camille Dubois starred as Fragoletto, Julia Vokins was the Princess of Granada and Nelly Bromley was the Prince of Popoli; this version had been given an 1871 performance in London. A wild rocky place The brigands assemble at dawn, but some of them complain to Falsacappa that they cannot live properly on the rewards of their work, he promises an profitable venture. The marriage of the Princess of Grenade with the Duc de Mantoue has been announced, the band will be there.
His daughter Fiorella has fallen for the young farmer Fragoletto, whose farm the gang raided, she is beginning to have doubts about their calling. She shows Piétro, the second-in-command a small portrait she has had painted of herself. Fragoletto is brought in by some of the brigands, not unwillingly, as he asks for Fiorella's hand, to join the band. Falsacappa agrees on condition. Fiorella is left with Piétro, a handsome stranger enters, he – fascinated by her – has lost his way. When Piétro goes to find help, she decides to warn him – in fact the Duke of Mantua – to flee. Fragoletto arrives with an intercepted message about the union of the Duke and the Princess of Granada, setting out the promise to the Spaniards of a large dowry instead of the debt owed to them. Falsacappa frees the messenger, replacing the princess's portrait in the briefcase with that of his daughter. Fragoletto has earned his place in the band.
My Fair Lady
My Fair Lady is a musical based on George Bernard Shaw's Pygmalion, with book and lyrics by Alan Jay Lerner and music by Frederick Loewe. The story concerns Eliza Doolittle, a Cockney flower girl who takes speech lessons from professor Henry Higgins, a phoneticist, so that she may pass as a lady; the original Broadway and London shows starred Julie Andrews. The musical's 1956 Broadway production was a notable popular success, it set a record for the longest run of any show on Broadway up to that time. It was followed by a hit London production, a popular film version, many revivals. My Fair Lady has been called "the perfect musical". Act IIt is the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden; the protagonist, Eliza Doolittle, is a Cockney with a unintelligible accent. Professor Henry Higgins invites Colonel Pickering to stay as his houseguest. Soon after, Eliza Doolittle comes to Professor Higgins's house. Professor Higgins wagers Colonel Pickering, that in six months he will turn Eliza into a lady by teaching her to speak properly.
Eliza is indentured into the Higgins household as a resident elocution student. After some weeks, Eliza is introduced to Freddy Eynsford-Hill. Freddy falls in love. Eliza's accent is now refined, she is now being educated on how to function as a debutante in high society. Eliza's final test requires her to pass as a lady at the Embassy Ball. After more weeks of preparation, she is ready. All the ladies and gentlemen at the ball admire her, the Queen of Transylvania invites her to dance with the prince. For his part, the Hungarian linguist Zoltan Karpathy declares her to be a fellow Hungarian - deducting that the English she speaks is not her mother language and that she had been instructed in removing any trace of her native accent. Act IIThe ball was a success. Colonel Pickering and Professor Higgins revel in their triumph, failing to pay attention to Eliza until Higgins asks Eliza to fetch his slippers. Eliza is insulted packs up and leaves the Higgins house, she hadn't been given any credit for all the effort.
Higgins awakens the next morning. He finds without Eliza, he is served tea instead of coffee, cannot find his files. Colonel Pickering notices the Professor's lack of consideration. Pickering finds another host, leaves the Higgins house. Professor Higgins visits his mother. To his surprise, Eliza has been staying with Mother Higgins. Mother Higgins scolds Henry, enjoins him to apologize to Eliza. Eliza accuses him of wanting her only to fetch and carry for him, saying that she will marry Freddy because he loves her, she declares. Higgins realizes his heart is broken, cannot do anything about it, he reaches the Higgins house. Sentimentally, he reviews the recording, he hears his own harsh words: "She's so deliciously low! So horribly dirty!" The phonograph turns off, a real voice speaks in a Cockney accent: "I washed me face an"ands before I come, I did". It is Eliza, standing in the doorway. In suppressed joy at their reunion, Professor Higgins scoffs and asks, "Eliza, where the devil are my slippers?"
The original cast of the Broadway stage production: Eliza Doolittle, a young Cockney flowerseller – Julie Andrews Henry Higgins, a professor of phonetics – Rex Harrison Alfred P. Doolittle, Eliza's father, a dustman – Stanley Holloway Colonel Hugh Pickering, Henry Higgins's friend and fellow phoneticist – Robert Coote Mrs. Higgins, Henry's socialite mother – Cathleen Nesbitt Freddy Eynsford-Hill, a young socialite and Eliza's suitor – John Michael King Mrs. Pearce, Higgins's housekeeper – Philippa Bevans Zoltan Karpathy, Henry Higgins's former student and rival – Christopher Hewett In the mid-1930s, film producer Gabriel Pascal acquired the rights to produce film versions of several of George Bernard Shaw's plays, Pygmalion among them. However, having had a bad experience with The Chocolate Soldier, a Viennese operetta based on his play Arms and the Man, refused permission for Pygmalion to be adapted into a musical. After Shaw died in 1950, Pascal asked lyricist Alan Jay Lerner to write the musical adaptation.
Lerner agreed, he and his partner Frederick Loewe began work. But they realised that the play violated several key rules for constructing a musical: the main story was not a love story, there was no subplot or secondary love story, there was no place for an ensemble. Many people, including Oscar Hammerstein II, with Richard Rodgers, had tried his hand at adapting Pygmalion into a musical and had given up, told Lerner that converting the play to a musical was impossible, so he and Loewe abandoned the project for two years. During this time, the collaborators separated and Gabriel Pascal died. Lerner had been trying to musicalize Li'l Abner when he read Pascal's obituary and found himself thinking about Pygmalion again; when he and Loewe reunited, everything fell into place. All of the insurmountable obstacles that had stood in their way two years earlier disappeared when the team realised that the play needed few changes apart from "adding the action that took place between the acts of the play".
They excitedly began writing the show. However, Chase Manhattan Bank was in charge of Pascal's estate, the musical rights to Pygmalion were sought both by Lerner and Loewe and by Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, whose executives called Lerner to discourage him from challenging the studio. Loewe said, "We will write the show without the rights, when the time comes for them to decide, to get them, we will be so far ahead of everyone else that they will be forced to give them to us." Fo
Stockholm is the capital of Sweden and the most populous urban area in the Nordic countries. The city stretches across fourteen islands. Just outside the city and along the coast is the island chain of the Stockholm archipelago; the area has been settled since the Stone Age, in the 6th millennium BC, was founded as a city in 1252 by Swedish statesman Birger Jarl. It is the capital of Stockholm County. Stockholm is the cultural, media and economic centre of Sweden; the Stockholm region alone accounts for over a third of the country's GDP, is among the top 10 regions in Europe by GDP per capita. It is an important global city, the main centre for corporate headquarters in the Nordic region; the city is home to some of Europe's top ranking universities, such as the Stockholm School of Economics, Karolinska Institute and Royal Institute of Technology. It hosts the annual Nobel Prize ceremonies and banquet at the Stockholm Concert Hall and Stockholm City Hall. One of the city's most prized museums, the Vasa Museum, is the most visited non-art museum in Scandinavia.
The Stockholm metro, opened in 1950, is well known for the decor of its stations. Sweden's national football arena is located north of the city centre, in Solna. Ericsson Globe, the national indoor arena, is in the southern part of the city; the city was the host of the 1912 Summer Olympics, hosted the equestrian portion of the 1956 Summer Olympics otherwise held in Melbourne, Australia. Stockholm is the seat of the Swedish government and most of its agencies, including the highest courts in the judiciary, the official residencies of the Swedish monarch and the Prime Minister; the government has its seat in the Rosenbad building, the Riksdag is seated in the Parliament House, the Prime Minister's residence is adjacent at Sager House. Stockholm Palace is the official residence and principal workplace of the Swedish monarch, while Drottningholm Palace, a World Heritage Site on the outskirts of Stockholm, serves as the Royal Family's private residence. After the Ice Age, around 8,000 BC, there were many people living in what is today the Stockholm area, but as temperatures dropped, inhabitants moved south.
Thousands of years as the ground thawed, the climate became tolerable and the lands became fertile, people began to migrate back to the North. At the intersection of the Baltic Sea and lake Mälaren is an archipelago site where the Old Town of Stockholm was first built from about 1000 CE by Vikings, they had a positive trade impact on the area because of the trade routes they created. Stockholm's location appears in Norse sagas as Agnafit, in Heimskringla in connection with the legendary king Agne; the earliest written mention of the name Stockholm dates from 1252, by which time the mines in Bergslagen made it an important site in the iron trade. The first part of the name means log in Swedish, although it may be connected to an old German word meaning fortification; the second part of the name means islet, is thought to refer to the islet Helgeandsholmen in central Stockholm. According to Eric Chronicles the city is said to have been founded by Birger Jarl to protect Sweden from sea invasions made by Karelians after the pillage of Sigtuna on Lake Mälaren in the summer of 1187.
Stockholm's core, the present Old Town was built on the central island next to Helgeandsholmen from the mid-13th century onward. The city rose to prominence as a result of the Baltic trade of the Hanseatic League. Stockholm developed strong economic and cultural linkages with Lübeck, Gdańsk, Visby and Riga during this time. Between 1296 and 1478 Stockholm's City Council was made up of 24 members, half of whom were selected from the town's German-speaking burghers; the strategic and economic importance of the city made Stockholm an important factor in relations between the Danish Kings of the Kalmar Union and the national independence movement in the 15th century. The Danish King Christian II was able to enter the city in 1520. On 8 November 1520 a massacre of opposition figures called the Stockholm Bloodbath took place and set off further uprisings that led to the breakup of the Kalmar Union. With the accession of Gustav Vasa in 1523 and the establishment of a royal power, the population of Stockholm began to grow, reaching 10,000 by 1600.
The 17th century saw Sweden grow into a major European power, reflected in the development of the city of Stockholm. From 1610 to 1680 the population multiplied sixfold. In 1634, Stockholm became the official capital of the Swedish empire. Trading rules were created that gave Stockholm an essential monopoly over trade between foreign merchants and other Swedish and Scandinavian territories. In 1697, Tre Kronor was replaced by Stockholm Palace. In 1710, a plague killed about 20,000 of the population. After the end of the Great Northern War the city stagnated. Population growth halted and economic growth slowed; the city was in shock after having lost its place as the capital of a Great power. However, Stockholm maintained its role as the political centre of Sweden and continued to develop culturally under Gustav III. By the second half of the 19th century, Stockholm had regained its leading economic role. New industries emerged and Stockholm was transformed into an important trade and service centre as well as a key gateway point within Sweden.
The population grew during this time through immigration. At the end