Opera Houses can become iconic buildings in cities world-wide and the one in Oslo, Norway is no exception.

Opened in 2008, the Oslo Opera House is the home of The Norwegian National Opera and Ballet.  The building forms a wedge with its massive roof running down into the harbour.

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That roof is massive, is covered in Italian marble (a nice little contract!) and is open to the public to walk (encouraged – but with warnings in icy conditions!) all over it.           20170818_230504 20170820_002743 20170820_003430

The internals of the building are just as impressive.

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Some interesting snippets:

  • the main theatre holds about 1400 people (including about 100 standing room spaces sold each night at the venue at a low cost), in a horseshoe shape – with good views of the stage from every seat;
  • the stage is very flexible with its 16 metres by 16 metres being able to be lowered 12 metres into the ground – as a whole of for any 1 square metre portion;
  • when the main stage is lowered entirely, a second stage can be moved into the space from behind – opening up all sorts of set flexibility;
  • sets to a height of 9 metres can be moved about the back of house and stage areas;
  • the extensive back of house areas include the full range of rehearsal, set construction, costume making, administration and other facilities, which mean much of the opera / ballet function is under one roof;
  • the related sculpture in the harbour in front of the opera House is floating, rotates with the wind, is chained to the harbour floor and weighs about 300 tons.

Floating sculpture to the right of the Opera House