Listen up! I mean my blog is about Norway; our culture, traditions and history and this time I’ll show you one of this centuries most sensational, historical occurrence of the world – well at least in Norway :-) We are talking about the largest cultural construction in the nation of 4.7 million people since the Nidarosdomen Cathedral in Trondheim in the 14th century. The opening of Oslo Opera house took place on the 12th of April and I was there last weekend together with my wife and thousands of other curious visitors to take in this Norwegian beauty:
The construction of the 38,500-square meter (415,000 square feet) Opera House is the largest single cultural-political initiative in contemporary Norway and it took five years to build with the cost estimated to 500 million Euros (800 million Dollars). 19 000 square metres of marble cladding have been designed by the artists in collaboration with Snøhetta architects. The surface area consists of more than 33 000 individual stones. The result is an extraordinary building in white marble with a slanting roof surface that rises directly from beneath the waters of the Oslo fjord. I took hundreds of picture that sunny Saturday and have prepared a small collection for you:
As you can see from the picture, especially #10, 11 and 12: this will also be the first opera house in the world where visitors can take a walk on the roof!
The structure is covered in marble slabs, boasts more than 1000 rooms, art valued at 5.6 million € (7 million $) and a chandelier in the main concert hall that consists of 17,000 glass units. The main entrance – a crevasse-like slit in its white marble facade – leads into a happily meandering, informal lobby wrapped around the auditorium. Timber ramps, with superbly crafted detailing made by traditional Norwegian boat builders, lead up from cloakrooms clad in hexagonal screens by the artist Olafur Eliasson, and extraordinarily beautiful lavatories (really), to bars and lobbies, and finally to the hush of the auditorium:
We went inside of course and here are a small collection of photos:
The Opera House is a project which the Norwegian people have followed closely over the last 5 years. It is a beautiful sculpture of a building, and intended to be an Opera for the people to enjoy. It is giving us an aesthetic arena for culture and bringing dance, ballet, classical concerts and especially Opera into the lives of the people and breathing new life into the cultural scene in Oslo. So this is another reason for you to visit Norway – when are you coming?
Go visit my wife’s post about the same trip and see it from her – different and very interesting – prospective!