Dalhalla – a rock amphitheatre

Rättvik municipality had been looking for a suitable site for summer festivals, and it was the former opera singer Margareta Dellefors who discovered the perfect place in 1991 – a disused limestone quarry deep in the forest just outside the town.

Photo: Dalhalla

She immediately saw the potential of the quarry for use as a music arena. The location was ideal, far away from all buildings, and well-shielded against noise pollution from roads and industry.

She was appointed project manager for the entertainment programme. The project was supported by Rättvik municipality and Dalarna County Council. In June 1993, a test concert was held with an invited audience, press and TV, and later the same year the Dalhalla Friends association was formed.

One of the largest meteorites to ever hit the Earth’s surface landed approximately 380 million years ago in the county of Dalarna. A very extensive crater was formed by the impact, as the pressure wave blasted away much of the sedimentary layer from the crystalline rock.

Geological background to Dalhalla

One of the largest meteorites to ever hit the Earth’s surface landed approximately 380 million years ago in the county of Dalarna. A very extensive crater was formed by the impact, as the pressure wave blasted away much of the sedimentary layer from the crystalline rock. The sedimentary layer formed a ring around the edge of the meteorite crater. This is called the Siljan Ring, with a diameter today of approximately 50 km.

Tectonic movements distorted the horizontal layers of sedimentary rocks, and they became almost vertical. The upright layers of rock were ideal for quarrying the limestone that forms the raw material for a large variety of construction, agricultural, environmental, and industrial materials.

Photo: Dalhalla

Optimal acoustics

Acoustic measurements confirmed an unusually low level of noise at the bottom of the quarry. The sound trial also confirmed that the high, almost vertical rock walls produced a very good reverb without a disturbing echo. With its acoustically designed stage, and with the audience sitting in the amphitheatre, Dalhalla can now be compared with classical stages in Ancient Greece and Italy.

With its acoustically designed stage, and with the audience sitting in the amphitheatre, Dalhalla can now be compared with classical stages in Ancient Greece and Italy.

The first concert was held in 1994 and the official opening was on 21 June 1995, with the performance of a major opera. This was shown live on Swedish TV and attracted great media attention, even in other countries. In autumn 1999 the stage and seating area were rebuilt to increase the capacity from 2600 to 4000. The rebuilt arena was officially opened in summer 2000 with the Swedish King and Queen in attendance.

Since then, the list of high-class events held at Dalhalla is long. World-famous artists have performed in the arena, and many of the most famous operas have been staged.

Contact
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