Music from the life of Christina, Queen of Sweden
Kajsa Dahlbäck and Olga Heikkilä, soprano
Katariina Heikkilä, alto
Jukka Jokitalo, tenor
Juha-Pekka Mitjonen, bass
The six-year-old Christina (1626–1689) became the Queen of Sweden after her father Gustav II Adolph was killed in the Thirty Years' War in 1632. The young queen was raised to reign over the Protestant empire like a king. From an early age she showed interest towards science and love for arts, and besides her tireless studying, she was often seen dancing and performing on the stage of the court theatre. Later on, Christina invited the most renowned European scientists, philosophers and artists of the time to the Swedish court, which made the cultural life in Stockholm blossom in the early 1650s.
Christina’s religious contemplations, which had been going on for years, finally led to her resigning from the Protestant faith and converting to Catholicism. She abdicated the Swedish throne and left the country in 1654. When Christina publicly converted in Innsbruck in the fall of 1655, it was celebrated as a victory for the Catholic Church, and when Christina arrived in in Rome, the Pope welcomed her with open arms.
In the conservative atmospheres of papal Rome, Christina became known as a strong-willed, even offensive, aristocrat and an art-lover, who regardless of her own economic difficulties generously supported musicians and organised sensational opera performances and concerts.
The Dancing Queen program presents music from along the path of Christina’s unusual life – all the way from the courts of Stockholm and Innsbruck to Rome, where Christina settled in her later years.
You can read three texts about Christina here. The texts are available in Finnish, Swedish and English.