Explore Oslo’s premier performance venue, famed both for its striking architecture and world-class performances.
Oslo Opera House is a very distinctive, prize-winning modern structure that sits in the centre of the city, on the banks of the Oslofjord. Comprising 1,100 rooms and three stages within 38,000 square metres of floor space, it is the largest cultural venue to have been built in Norway for over 700 years. Whether you choose to attend a performance by the National Ballet and Opera, or simply admire the cutting-edge design, the Opera House is an attraction not to be missed.
From the outside, the white Carrara marble, aluminium and glass building appears to rise directly from the waters of the fjord, echoing the outlines of a vast iceberg. The sloped roof is accessible to the public as it runs from ground level upwards. Make your way to the top for splendid views across the city, or in the warmer months, join the groups picnicking or soaking up the sun’s rays.
The interior design is equally impressive, boasting a number of dramatic commissions from leading artists. Step into the airy, minimalist foyer and you’ll see the hexagonally perforated panels by Olafur Eliasson, which mimic the appearance of melting ice.
Head into the horseshoe-shaped auditorium, incorporating some of the most technologically advanced acoustic and visual features. Look up at the ceiling to admire Norway’s largest circular chandelier, comprising 5,800 individual crystal elements and measuring seven metres in diameter. The curtain for the main stage is the work of Pae White, who used ingenious computer-aided weaving techniques to produce fabric that looks like crumpled aluminium foil.
For fascinating insights into the workings of this venue, book a place on one of the 50-minute behind-the-scenes guided tours. Step onto the main stage, explore the costume department and see how the elaborate sets are created. Tours are available in English on Wednesdays and at weekends, and tickets can be purchased from the official website.
Oslo Opera House is located in the city’s Bjørvika district. Take the NSB train to Oslo Central Station, then proceed on foot across the pedestrian bridge. Alternatively, parking spaces are available in car parks and on streets nearby.