Den Norske Opera & Ballett, also known as the Oslo Opera house, opened in 2008 in Oslo, Norway costing roughly $52 million U.S. dollars. It may seem like an awful lot of money, but the design of the building is magnificent. This opera house has three stages that can be used all at the same time and it is considered as two buildings built together. One side for the public to see, and the other for the backstage aspects.
As a group, we were fortunate enough to get a tour of the building, and let me tell you, it was amazing. I wasn’t able to take pictures behind the scenes, but if you ever get a chance to tour the opera house, definitely do it!
When you enter through the doors, you are greeted with a modern interior with the clean white walls and floors with glass all around. In the middle is a large cylinder shape that spirals upward to the ceiling made up of oak wood. The shape of the wooden oak walls represented the old shoreline from the water, which I think is a unique design feature.
As we traveled up the oak pathways that lead up to the seats of the opera, we could see the views from the glass windows and there was a metal sculpture that was in the water near the opera house. It is said that the sculpture is of an ice burg that is anchored to the bottom of the water and because of this, it slowly rotates by itself.
We were then able to see the inside of one of the three stages, but unfortunately, we were not able to take any photos. It didn’t matter though because we were walking into a pitch black room due to rehearsals. The ballet was rehearsing for their show, Sleepless Beauty. Even though we saw maybe five minutes of the rehearsal, I was blown away and wished I could have seen the full performance.
Continuing on with the tour, we headed backstage. There was a courtyard that allowed the light to come through for the ballet dancers and the opera singers, but could not be seen from the outside of the building or anywhere else.
Our next main stop was to go through the costume areas where they create their own costumes for each performance. With this, they have designated areas to make their own hats, masks, makeup (such as facial hair), shoes, and fabric. I thought this was absolutely amazing. The fact that they create multiple costumes for each and every person in the performance is just jaw dropping considering that there are so many dancers and singers.
Another unique behind the scene aspect was the stage. We were able to go back by the stages and boy were they cool. The stages were built to have multi-functions. They could change the stages by lowering or raising the floor of the stage and placing in a different stage. This would be extremely helpful with changing the scenes from one setting to the next.
The Den Norske Opera & Ballett was definitely an amazing tour and such a beautifully designed building. I would definitely recommend stopping by for a tour if you’re in Oslo, Norway.