sweden has appointed new royal singerssopranos Nina Stemme and Hillevi Martinpelto have been appointed court singers by the Swedish King, Carl XVI Gustaf. both singers were born and raised in Sweden and have gained international acclaim in recent years.
the tradition of court singers dates back to King Gustav III's reign in the 18th century. many eminent Swedish singers have been awarded the title over the years, including Jussi Björling, Birgit Nilsson, Anne Sofie von Otter, Nicolai Gedda and Elisabeth Söderström.
a spokesperson for the Swedish Royal Court explained that the director of the Royal Swedish Opera proposes names to the King, which are discussed internally before a decision is made. the person doesn't have to be a Swedish national but he or she has to be performing regularly in Sweden. it's an honorary title but court singers are frequently asked to perform at royal events.