Etikettarkiv: Eklund

Augusta’s Visit to the Semperoper in Dresden


Augusta had a deep interest in music and she had a good voice. She even had a waltz dedicated to her: “La Belle du Nord – Valse pour le Piano. Offerte à Mademoiselle Augusta Söderholm par Gustav Eklund.”

Augusta took singing lessons from one of Stockholm’s famous opera singers, Mr. Isidor Dannström. He was already famous in the 1840’s along with Jenny Lind. So when Augusta and her mother traveled through Germany in 1847, they made sure to visit the opera in both Berlin and Dresden.

The opera in Dresden was designed by architect Gottfried Semper. When Augusta visited the magnificent opera house – the Semperoper – it was new, having opened in 1841.


Dresden, July 1847

In the evening we went to the Opera where the walls are blue and white with gold. The cushions and chairs are covered with red velvet. Irresistibly, however, one’s gaze is drawn to the circular, white ceiling which is adorned with golden arabesques and four oval medallions depicting in allegorical figures – the music, the tragedy, the comedy, and the arts – painted in the clearest of colors. Between them, four smaller medallions appear which represent Goethe’s, Schiller’s, Mozart’s, and Beethoven’s portraits. A tasteful lamp with 96 gas flames throw their rays over this masterpiece. The curtain is made of red velvet with golden fringes and it hangs with beautiful folds. The foyer is semicircular, from which glass doors lead into the loges. The walls in this foyer are white lacquered and the only ornaments are rich, bronze candelabra which are surrounded by milk-white glass. By the windows are placed elegant couches with large mirrors above which are niches with busts of Weber, Mozart, and Lessing.



Unfortunately, the opera house was destroyed by fire in 1869. It was rebuilt and opened again in 1878. The Semperoper was again destroyed during the bombing of Dresden in 1945, and again rebuilt in 1985.

On the 4th of  October, we are delighted to have tickets to the Semperoper – we will be thinking of Augusta!

Will 1852 give us clear or cloudy days?

Augusta celebrated New Year’s Eve 1851 with her friends. She was 24 years old and life was still good:

Today we were invited to Bååthens1. There were 10 other guests from Norrköping, and of the most boring kind. Luckily there was a tiny Mrs Lundmark from Malmö who was particularly talkative, just like the hostess, and as Gustaf2 and I made up the 3rd and 4th members of this little coterie, we could congratulate each other on our contribution to making the evening pleasurable. A simple supper consisting of lutfisk and porridge as well as steak and a pastry was taken and the party ended around midnight. It is now 2 am, the new year has begun; will it give us clear or cloudy days? The future will give me answers.

The wonderful answer is that 1852 was a momentous year for Augusta – the year she met her future husband Adolf Leonard Nordvall.


1Seved and his wife Ulla (Ulrika Josefina) Bååth (

2Gustaf Adolf Eklund, merchant who also built the New Theatre (Eklundska Teatern) in Norrköping