Tools/The Mærsk Opera

The Mærsk Opera

In collaboration with: Copenhagen Brains
Year: 2017

The Mærsk Opera is a documentary collaboration by SUPERFLEX, composer Anders Monrad and journalist Nikolaj Heltoft. A film work in three acts, The Mærsk Opera is based on true events leading up to the opening of one of the most controversial buildings in Denmark’s recent history. 

The charitable foundation of Denmark’s richest man, the late Mærsk McKinney-Møller, donated the Opera House as a “people’s gift” to the City of Copenhagen on condition of its placement on an axis from The Marble Church through the Amalienborg royal palace. A public debate about artistic integrity, tax deductions and the public's reception followed the building process and continues to this day.

A tale of power-brokering leading up to the building’s completion is told through a composition of documentary filmmaking, animation, and material realism, and from the perspective of improbable characters; industrious ants, sonically manipulated liquid, a drifting meteorite, competitive cliff-divers, and a dog named Lea.

The Mærsk Opera premiered at the 2017 CPH:DOX, Copenhagen International Documentary Film Festival. 

The opera score was first presented at the Copenhagen Contemporary Art Center as part of the Copenhagen Art Festival in 2012.

Composer: Anders Monrad
Libretto: Nikolaj Heltoft & SUPERFLEX
Duration: 70 min
Subtitles: English

Still image from the film


Composer Anders Monrad

Librettists Nikolaj Heltoft & SUPERFLEX

Producer SUPERFLEX Studio



Assistant director Ribka M. Pattinama Coleman

Editors Copenhagen Brains, Ribka M. Pattinama Coleman

Color grader Dicki Lakha

3D animator Suzanne Soulier

Production coordinator Huynh Ngo Van Anh

Sound engineer Rasmus Winther Jensen

Mix cinema SDI Media

Camera assistant Thomas Woltmann

Hand actor Doug Leack

Dog Lea

Translator Margaret Malone



Johan Schnéevoigt

 Catherine Pattinama Coleman

 Huy Tran

 Le Tran Trung

 Michelle Ruiz



Sound technician and mastering Mikkel Nymand

Conductor Jesper Nordin

Producer Jesper Lützhøft



Nina Bols Lundgren

Sophie Thing-Simonsen

Rebecca Forsberg

Emil Lykke

Adam Riis

Simon Duus

Morten Staugaard

Bo Nanfred

Morten Lassenius Kramp



Christian Westergård, piano

Rikke Sandberg, piano

Tanja Zapolski, piano

Hammond Manuel Esperilla, synth

Anders Monrad, synth

Rune Højmark, steel guitar


Mathias Reumert, percussion

David Hildebrandt, percussion

Matias Seibæk, percussion

Mads Hebsgaard Andersen, percussion

Alexander Skjold, percussion


SUPERFLEX would like to thank


Tine Fischer

ATHELAS Sinfonietta Copenhagen


SDI Media

Simon Ellegaard

Caroline Sascha Cogez

Laura Na Blankholm

Danish Composers’ Society

Isabella Magnoni

Nanna Balslev Strøjer

Angela Adaix

Malene Natascha Ratcliffe

Soleyman Said

Gry Stangegård Schneider

Anna Barkne

Anne Hofmann Andersen

Mindaugas Reklaitis

Emil Ballegaard

Viktor Harald

KODA’s Fund for Social and Cultural Purposes


Produced with support from the Danish Arts Foundation

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