Needless to say, once you uncover an eighteenth century theater neatly locked away, as in a time capsule, you would want an appropriate period instrument musical ensemble to go with it. Yet it took five decades for musical scholarship to catch up with such an exigency. Once it was founded, another 15 years passed before the Drottningholm Court Baroque Ensemble was up to the business of recording. Its maiden effort, a 1986 rendering of Vivaldi
's The Four Seasons led by Nils-Erik Sparf
on the Swedish Bis
label, was received with accolades of acclaim by reviewers and listeners everywhere. In the past two decades, the talents of the Drottningholm Court Baroque Ensemble have sustained them through roughly two dozen recordings for labels such as Bis
, Musica Sveciae, and Proprius
. In the opening years of the twentieth century, subsidies from the Swedish government began to dry up in the face of hard economic times, and the Drottningholm Slottstheater was forced to shorten its season. Nonetheless, in recent years the theater has found the means to commission new operas from contemporary composers in addition to staging the Baroque- and Classical-period opera revivals that constitute its main fare. The Drottningholm Court Baroque Ensemble is kin to its sister organization, the Drottningholm Court Theatre Orchestra.