The Icelandic Opera was first founded by a group of singers  led by Garðar Cortes in 1978, performing Leoncavallo’s I Pagliacci in Háskólabíó in March 1979. In 1980, the Icelandic Opera inherited the estate of the couple Helga Jónsdóttir and  Sigurliði Kristjánsson, a well-known Icelandic businessman.The Icelandic Opera purchased the cinema Gamla Bíó in Ingólfsstræti in t Reykjavík, which was it´s recidence until 2011 when the company moved into Harpa Concert Hall. The first performance of the Icelandic Opera was Johann Strauss’s Gypsy Baron on the 9th of January 1982, attended by 23.000 guests.