Elisabeth Hamfelt made her professional debut in 1978, as prop master at Malmö Stadsteater, for Donizetti’s Don Pasquale and for Ibsen’s Ghosts. Each summer from 1983 to 1988, Elisabeth Hamfelt worked for Stockholms Parkteater, a theatre company, run by the city of Stockholm, which performs in Stockholm’s parks. The last project for this company was making XVIIIth century hats for the Jan Wallgren and Ture Rangström musical En Bellmanhistora, which takes place in the historical theatre at Drottningholm, where, the following summer, she would begin to work.
In 1989, The Drottningholm Theatre Museum Foundation produced Mozart’s Die Zauberflöte and Gluck’s Iphigénie en Aulide, staged by Göran Järvefelt; for both productions, Elisabeth Hamfelt’s responsibilities included finding, borrowing, making and taking care of the props, before and during the performances. As Property Manager, Elisabeth Hamfelt has continued this work at Drottningholms Slottsteater every summer since then, working mostly on XVIIIth century operas by Mozart, Gluck, Handel and Rameau, but also XVIIth century operas by Rossi and Monteverdi.
The skills of Drottningholms Slottsteater Property Manager include working with wood, textiles, paper, clay and paint, creating unique objects, each for a special purpose, and participating in realizing the visions of the stage directors and designers. Elisabeth Hamfelt has collaborated with directors including David Radok, Gilbert Blin, John Cox, Ivo Cramér and Pierre Audi; and designers such as C. F. Oberle, Paul Brown, Bo-Ruben Hedwall, Ulla Cassius and Ann-Marie Antila.
IIn recognition of her work, Drottningholmsteaterns Vänner awarded Elisabeth Hamfelt the Agne Beijers grant, which was presented to her in 1994 by HM Queen Silvia of Sweden. In 2003, she received the Marmontel Grant: Props and Masks in France in the XVIIIth century, awarded by the ACADÉMIE DESPREZ, to which she was afterwards given the position of Honorary Member. In 2009 Elisabeth Hamfelt received the Drottningholmsteaterns Vänners Honorary Medal for ‘20 Years of devoted, imaginative, skilled and elegant problemsolving as Property Manager at Drottningholm Theater’, from the hands of HM Crownprincess Victoria.
For Drottningholms Slottsteater Elisabeth Hamfelt has made masks designed by Dominique Delouche, for Haydn’s Orlando Paladino in 1994, hats and masks designed by Robin Linklater, for Rossi’s L’Orfeo in 1997 and hats designed by Jon Morrell, for Reine Jönsson’s Cecilia och Apkungen in 2004. Elisabeth Hamfelt has also worked as a costume designer, making costumes, in collaboration with students from the Swedish Film Institute, for the TV film Timglaset in 1984. She has also assisted costume designer Mona-Theresia Forsén, for the movie productions of Demoner (by Carsten Brandt, 1986), Den frusna leoparden (by Lárus Óskarsson, 1986) and Skyddsängeln (by Suzanne Osten, 1990).
Since 1989, Elisabeth Hamfelt has experimented with making sculptures out of textiles, creating human and animal-like figures. Besides solo exhibitions in Stockholm and Malmö, her work has been shown at Liljevalchs in Stockholm (1991), Vikingsberg in Helsingborg (1993, 1994 and 1995) and Länsmuséet in Kristiandstad (1992, 1994).
Elisabeth Hamfelt has reconstructed historical costumes and created exhibition mannequins for museums such as Skansen and Sagolekhuset Junibacken in Stockholm, the Swedish Railway Museum in Ängelholm, the Vaxholms Fästnings Museum, the Eksjö Militärhistoriska Museum, Kulturen in Lund (2008 & 2009) and the Maritime Museum in Stockholm (2010). She executed some of these commissions with her own firm, FIGUREN, which she founded in 1999.
Recently, Elisabeth Hamfelt designed the costumes for Patrik Sörling’s productions of Martín y Soler’s La Capricciosa Correta (2005) and Mozart’s Le Nozze di Figaro (2006), both at the Drottningholms Slottsteater. She also created the hand-props for Lully’s Psyché, staged by Gilbert Blin for the Boston Early Music Festival (2007). In the spring of 2008, she made costumes for the ACADEMIE DESPREZ for the stage premiere of Alessandro Scarlatti’s La Giuditta, in Nice.
In the Theatre Shop at Drottningholm items crafted by Elisabeth Hamfelt are on sale, including costume jewelry, bags and historical-costume-dolls.