We couldn’t invite our friends to Norway without showing them the new pearl of the city shoreline. The Oslo Opera House opened in 2008 designed by the award winning architect firm, Snøhetta. The Opera House is best seen from the water as you see in the photo below. I admit this photo was taken in July when my father was visiting, as we had better weather and a boat ride! As you can see it resembles a Glacier flowing out into the ocean. The surface reflects the natural elements of snow and ice and has a cold feel to it. Covered in pure white Italian marble it sparkles on the landscape.
The concept of the Opera House was that they wished it to be available to the Norwegian people in other ways. Therefor it is the only Opera House in the world where the roof is intended for use of everyone. It gives a wonderful view of both the city and the fjord and is a popular place for Norwegians and tourists alike. In the summer time free concerts are held on the roof for all to enjoy.
Looking through the window increases the feel of ice, and yet you can see the warm “wave wall” which adds the element of Norwegian Oak Wood. The wave wall which contains the main scene and several others appears to rise like a great old oak tree right in the center of the opera house, and the large glass windows allow you to see inside, allow light to enter from outside, and even allows you to see the fjord right through the buildings.
On the main floor there is also a restaurant -cafe serving fine dining both indoors in the main hall and outdoors in good weather on the Opera roof itself.
RennyBA and Lawrence were kind enough to arrange a guided tour for us with a most excellent guide, in english of course. She brought us through the galleries elegently designed in fine Nowegian Oak, and into the main scene, which of course we were not allowed to photograph as they were setting the scene for Figaros Wedding.
We had a peek at the ballet as well! The Opera House is also the home of the Norwegian Ballet, and has rehersal rooms in the same high quality as the ballet floor itself (which is lowered from the roof onto the scene of the main floor to insure optimal quality for the dancers).
My favorite part of the tour, I have to admit to dreams of being a dancer or an actress when I was around the age of 5, was our tour through the costume rooms. We were allowed into some of the costume storage and had a peek at the beautiful creations being made. Here are some colorful tutus for this years presentation of the Nutcracker. Yes, already in August they are busy making the costumes for Christmas’ high point.
The guide, also a visial artist, showed us the elaborate details of the work.
And we also had a breif glimpse of the wonderful costumes to Figaro’s Wedding.
Some of the best experiences from Oslo Blog Gathering was experiencing new things together with interesting and curious friends from around the world. It was also fun taking photos together and seeing how some of the others captured the details around them. All in all every day was an experience of a lifetime.