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Oslo to inaugurate futuristic opera building

Latest update : 2008-04-11

Norway is set to open a new opera house on Saturday. Located on the shores of the Oslo fjord in the capital city it was designed by the Norwegian architecture firm Snoehetta.

Oslo's new opera house, a futuristic structure set to become an architectural landmark for the city, will be officially inaugurated Saturday in the presence of King Harald and German Chancellor Angela Merkel.


Located on the shores of the Oslo fjord in the heart of the city, the white marble building with clean lines will host an inaugural soiree with performances of excerpts from famous operas and ballets.


On the programme are Mozart's "The Magic Flute" and "The Marriage of Figaro", Verdi's "Don Carlo", as well as several ballets.


In addition to King Harald, Queen Sonja and Merkel, special guests will include Finnish President Tarja Halonen, her Icelandic counterpart Olafur Ragnar Grimmson, Norwegian Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg and members of the Danish and Swedish royal families, the opera's information office said.


Designed by the Norwegian architecture firm Snoehetta, which created the Alexandria Library in 2002, the new opera building cost some four billion kroner (503.5 million euros, 796 million dollars).


In line with Scandinavian egalitarian traditions, the building shuns splendour.


Boxes, a common feature of opera houses, have not been included in the gilding-free, dark oak theatre. The royal couple will sit among the audience, with only a small space separating them from the crowd.


The roof of the building is accessible to the public by vast ramps reaching up from the ground, where people are free to picnic, skateboard, or dive into the Oslo fjord.

Date created : 2008-04-11