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The Book of Life

World premiere in October of Sven-David Sandström's last opera. Libretto based on Niklas Rådström's The Book.

During his last years, Sven-David Sandström (1942–2019) worked on an opera with libretto by Niklas Rådström, based on the latter’s novel Boken, (The Book) from 2013. It is a bold and visionary rendition of the biblical books as a single story about creation and life. Full of poetry and powerful stories. We can proudly announce that the world premiere of The Book of Life will take place as a concert performance in Norrköping on October 14 with 22 soloists and Eric Ericson Chamber Choir, Norrköping's Vocal Ensemble conducted by Tobias Ringborg and directed by Peter Oskarson.

The Book of Life is a unique project, an all-night opera where the audience meets The Man and The Woman, Moses, Jesus, Sarah, the three archangels and many more from the Bible’s rich gallery of characters. It will be performed as a concert opera with limited staging. The premiere is on October 14 and a second performance on October 15 in De Geerhallen, Norrköping. In addition to the Norrköping Symphony Orchestra, the world famous Eric Ericson Chamber Choir as well as a cast of 22 soloists ranging from opera students to world class artists. In the leading roles we see Jeremy Carpenter as “The Man” and Miriam Treichl as “The Woman”. Tobias Ringborg will be conducting and stage director is Peter Oskarson.

In a conversation with Sven-David shortly before his death, he told me that it would be a dream of his coming true if The Book of Life could have its first performance by the Norrköping Symphony Orchestra in Östergötland where he had his roots. This autumn he would have turned 80. I can’t think of a better way for us to pay tribute to Sven-David Sandström than giving Book of Life its world premiere. 

Henrik Marmén, artistic director of the Norrköping Symphony Orchestra.

Sven-David Sandström was born in Borensberg, Sweden, in 1942 and composed over 500 works in a vast variety of musical forms, from opera, choir and chamber music to symphonies and he also wrote a lot of church music.


The Book of Life is a collaboration with Östgötateatern.