Den Norske Opera & Ballett

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Kirsten Flagstads plass 1, Oslo, Norway
www.operaen.no - +47 21 42 21 00

Den Norske Opera & Ballett Oslo Reviews

sarahsan sarahsan
403 reviews
Beautiful piece of architecture Apr 17, 2012
Den Norske Opera & Ballett or the Opera House opened on the 12th April 2008. It is located in central Oslo, on the water, in front of the central train station. It´s a beautiful piece of architecture, a gigantic piece of iceberg.

A little bit about the history and symbolism: Oslo desperately needed a new opera house and in 1999 the government decided to build a new one. It was decided to hold an open anonymous competition with an international jury. The Opera House should be a building for everybody and reflect the typical Norwegian. 248 participants took part and the competition was finally won by the architect's office Snøhetta AS and the architect Tarald Lundevall. Snøhetta is a Norwegian company with architects from all over the world.

From the outside the building looks like a glacier on its way into the sea. Climbing the roof should give you the feeling of hiking in the Norwegian mountains. The Opera House is built as a quay and has water underneath it. The building is covered in 36.000 pieces of Italian carara marbel. Each stone is cut individually. The biggest puzzle ever! The glass façade is constructed with wires and small tilted glass to avoid cold drafts and for sun protection.

The inside of the builing is constructed of oak and symbolizes a tree trunk. Light on the outsiden and darker and darke the further you get to the middle (the concert hall). Why oak? Because it reflects sound well. In the main concert hall the chandelier looks like a flat acustic disc. It´s 7 meter in diameter, weighs 8 tons and has 5800 handmade glass crystals. The shape of the concert hall is the traditinal horse shoe, which gives an excellent acoustics. Even the choice of material in the seat covers is no coincidence. It absorbs sound. All the operas are done in the original language, but don´t worry! Each seat back has a little screen with subtitles where you can choose between 8 lanuguages. The main concert hall has 1358 seats and the second hall 400. The main hall has a revolving stage, which is run by the biggest hydraulic system on the Norwegian mainland. The technical director at the opera house has his backgrown from the oil rigs in the North Sea. No wonder!

In the old days Oslo had a flourishing textile industry along the river. This is also reflected in the opera house. Part of the building is covered with white boards with something that look like holes. This symbolizes the punch cards for weaving and the water under the opera house, the river.

If you join a guided tour you will learn all about this as well as visit the costume and shoe work shop, the carpenter and the decoration and metal workshop. It´s all very interesting.

The new opera house is so popular, it´s difficult to get tickets. An average of 96,8 % of the tickets are sold. If you can´t get tickets, you can always join a guided tour to see the inside and to learn about the architecture and all the symbolism in the house. The guided tours are done in several languages and takes about 50 minutes. If you´re not going to an opera or a ballet or are joining a guided tour of the inside, go for a walk on the inclined roof for the view of the bay.

This Easter the Opera House offered a variety of free concerts. Great initiative since tickets are quite expensive and not for everyone. I went to a couple of them. One was with different parts of Mozart´s operas and the other one was with the Norwegian Baroque Orchestra playing work by Vivaldi.

In the summer they have all kinds of concerts outside. The stage is on a barge in the water and the audience is sitting on the sloped roof.

In the foyer you´ll find restaurant Argent for fine dining and the Sandguine Brasseri as well as bars on several locations. If you like to get some souvenirs there is a gift shop by the entrance.

Walking on the roof and inside the foyer is free. A guided tour cost NOK 100,-/60,- adult/child. If you have the Oslo Pass you get a 20% discount. A visit the the Opera House is highly recommended.
Den Norske Opera & Ballett
Den Norske Opera & Ballett
Den Norske Opera & Ballett
Den Norske Opera & Ballett
9 / 9 TravBuddies found this review helpful/trustworthy
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sylviandavid says:
Congratulations on being featured!!!! Hooray for you!
Posted on: Apr 18, 2012
monky says:
Congrats on your featured Sarah! very nice review!:D
Posted on: Apr 18, 2012
austin37335 says:
Hi Sarah, many congratulations on having this excellent review featured today! :D
Posted on: Apr 18, 2012
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LindsayA LindsayA
21 reviews
A beautiful building Jul 24, 2012
The Norwegian opera house was only opened in 2008 and is truly a beautiful building. Located near to the Oslo central station it is easy to get to and is recommended as part of your walking tour of Oslo.

Take the footbridge at Oslo Central Station/Thon Hotel Opera over to the opera house. Pause at the far end of the footbridge to take your photo :-)

The opera house shows both ballet and opera and unfortunately sells out very quickly. You could of course be super organised and book them in advance http://www.operaen.no/Default.aspx?ID=29002

If you're not that lucky, or not into opera you will still enjoy the building.

Guided tours behind the scenes can be bought on the above website for US$16.

Walking through the foyer and on the roof are free. (Not as weird as it sounds walking on the roof - trust me!)The sloped roof of the building is a popular place for tourists to come and walk. Just be careful if it has been or is raining as the surface will be slippery and at times they close the roof. Also watch out for the little 'steps' which can trip you up very easily.

Great views from on the roof and look out for the Holmenkollen ski jump.

Occasionally there are musical performances "on the roof". Just come prepared for the weather.
1 / 1 TravBuddies found this review helpful/trustworthy
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