Henrik Schaefer conducted with a light touch, bringing out the bounce and rhythm of Rossini’s music and marshalling the set pieces with ease.
Seen and Heard International, Niklas Smith, 09/04/2018
Schaefer manages to balance these complex developments and the art of balancing continues in his Brahms interpretation. Here you can hear how close this music is to his heart. He seems to have an album of ideas and and an archive of sounds and the details are always taken care of. But what convinces especially is the big form, the long lines and the energies that ewoke when different passages mirror one another.
Göteborgsposten, Magnus Haglund, 16/09/2016
Conductor Henrik Schaefer gives us a Mozart interpretation, which is full of swing and lightness and sometimes has breathtaking tempochanges and accelerations.
DAGENS NYHETER., Martin Nyström, 30/11/2009
So one came up with the idea to move the entire orchestra with conductor to the 2nd balcony, basically the gallery right under the roof. And what happens? We can enjoy a very unusual Wagner-sound! The instruments appear much clearer and it is almost a quadrophonic experience. It feels like one is sitting within the orchestra, but it almost never gets too loud. And in the tutti, despite the rather small number of musicians, everything sounds very compact. (…) Henrik Schaefer instructed them as all other strings to play with portamento and they play on gut-strings to come closer to the original sound from Wagner's times. A very interesting experiment that the excellent and very energetic conductor Henrik Schaefer, who always choses the right tempi, wants to continue. Another ”plus” of this orchestra setting were the much clearer audible voices that were much better imbedded into this soundspace.
Der neue Merker, Klaus Billand, 20/04/2011
The orchestra of the Wermland Opera is hidden on the upper balcony and spreads a sort of surround-sound that is in perfect balance with the singers on stage. Just as Wagner desired: the orchestra is invisible and does not disturb the contact between singers and audiences in any kind. They also play with seductive portamenti that weld together all ”Leitmotive” to pure gold. Conductor Henrik Schaefer does not only know why he has to do this, but also how and that makes his interpretation so unbelievably convincing!
A self-glowing and brave interpretation. There is a lightness in the voices which leads to a sort of trampolineffect, thanks to the congenial interpretation of the score by conductor Henrik Schaefer. The Orchestra played an immensely fine performance, with an emphasis on fast and volatile passion.
Göteborgsposten, Magnus Haglund, 30/11/2009
Henrik Schaefer conducted as sensitively as Mr Benke Rydman choreographed, bringing a beautiful shimmering sound from the orchestra but also rhythmic precision. The drama was heightened by an impressive dynamic range. The audience was spellbound during the performance, erupting into a standing ovation at the end.
Seen and Heard International, Niklas Smith, 07/06/2015
Karlstad Opera’s Parsifal in Karlstad Cathedral is breathtaking. An affecting encounter that effectively uses the sacred space (…) Musically, it’s ravishing. The conductor Henrik Schaefer does not only have a firm hold on the form, he also manages to give the reinforced orchestra the sombre and yet shimmering tone that is unique to this work, the reed-section precise in their legato and tastefully executed portamenti in the strings – along with an excellent first trumpet.
DAGNES NYHETER., Thomas Anderberg, 27/02/2007