The Norwegian National Opera and Ballet, and the national Opera Theatre in the city at the head of the Oslo Fjord, is the largest single culture-political initiative in contemporary Norway. It’s the largest cultural building to be raised in Norway since Nidarosdomen (= Cathedral) and an important symbol of what modern Norway represents as a nation. The building’s expression of openness and accessibility both indoors and outdoors, appeals to a wide range of users. The roof landscape is clad in artistically formed white Italian marble – actually, this opera house is the world’s only were you can walk on the roof:
Oslo Opera House #1
My photo on Flickr with most hits (more than 20 000 hits)

Two of our blog friends, Ginnie from Georgia, US and Astrid from the Netherlands, could not make it to the Oslo Blog Gathering in August 2010. So they came in April this year instead, to explore and have a taste of Oslo and Norway; our culture, history, traditions and habits. This post is from their third day of four,exploring the Oslo New Opera House (click all pics to bigify & enjoy):
Norway Opera House in Oslo #1 Norway Opera House in Oslo #5
Left: All Blog Friends at the entrance of The Opera – Right: Ginnie & Astrid in front of The Opera

Two days before we saw the Opera house from the seaside on our Oslo Fjord boat sightseeing trip:
Sightseeing Oslo Fjord in Spring #5 Sightseeing Oslo Fjord in Spring #6
Left: Ginnie photo hunting – Right: The new Opera House.

Guided tour in Norway Opera House:
Up to 50,000 persons visit the new monumental building at the Oslo waterfront each week most of them for a recreational adventure outdoors. This really shatters the myth about a cultural building like the opera being dull and difficult and only an indoor adventure and shows that the opera is more than entertainment for the bourgeoisie. However, a guided tour inside is worthy too and we always try to find time when blog friends are visiting:
Norway Opera House in Oslo #2

The House is workplace for 600 people divided between more than 50 different trades and professions – among them about 100 seamstresses:
Norway Opera House in Oslo #3 Norway Opera House in Oslo #9
Left: Ginnie & Astrid in the sewing room – Right: Costume for the Nutcracker.

This production section holds all facilities that are necessary for the production of an opera or ballet: workshops, storerooms, dressing rooms, cloakrooms, offices as well as audition and rehearsal rooms – with an inspirational view to the Oslo Fjord:
Norway Opera House in Oslo #10

The acoustics are the most important criteria for success for the new Opera House. It has therefore been a primary objective that the acoustics in the Main auditorium are of best quality. Experience shows that a horseshoe form is the best design for achieving optimum acoustics in an opera theatre, which is why the design was adopted:
Norway Opera House in Oslo #4
Materials are also important for tone and timbre. Modern preference is for timbre, where music is prioritised over song and speech. In the Main auditorium, the objective is to achieve a resonant solution that meets requirements of reverberance, early decay time and loudness.

This is day three of four from our Blog Friends Astrid and Ginnie’s adventures – so stay tuned for more in the next posts!

Update:
Go read Ginnie’s first post from their adventures in Norway!
…. and of course my wife DianeCA’s post about their visit too!

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