While in Oslo, Norway, our next door neighbor was the Den Norske Opera & Ballett. They welcomed us for a tour today and I was so impressed. Most obvious, is the architecture; the design has a sloping roof that is the “keystone signature” of the opera house.
Inside, the walls are a wave of variegated oak panels which offers visitors an acoustic advantage in the hall. The opera house has three performance halls: the Main House for 1300 attendees, the Second House for 400 attendees, and the Studio for 200 attendees. All three halls may be used at the same time.
Because the Main House was dark inside for rehearsals, we couldn’t see much of the inside architecture. This was a small price to pay for the treat our guide had in store for us; we were allowed to enter the Main House for a small time to see rehearsals of the new opera opening this Saturday night, “Sleepless Beauty.” What a treasured memory I will have of the beautiful, intricate movements of the dancers. We wished we could stay and attend opening night.
My favorite part of the tour was walking through the costume area. The Opera House employs 52 stylists/seamstresses who create 4000 costumes per season. As I walked past the prepared costumes on the racks, they seemed to be characters in their own right; the flowing, soft peach pieces from “Romeo & Juliet,” the deep crimson colors from “Don Quixote,” and the fanciful patterns from “Carmen,” and “La Boheme” all (pardon the pun) danced in front of our eyes with a life of their own. It was truly amazing.
I wish I had more pictures of my own to share with you, but backstage photos are not allowed. There is a lot of information on the Den Norske Opera & Ballett website or I recommend looking at some of my blog mates’ awesome photos. One of my favorites may be found in Marina’s blog, “5 Places You Must Visit in Oslo“.
Tomorrow, we fly out to our final destination, Stockholm. See you in Sweden!