You definitely can’t miss the Oslo Opera House. And I mean that in more ways than one. First, you really can’t miss it, its right in the center of Oslo, beautifully set on the water looking over the fjord. Second, it is just way too cool not to check it out.
I mean where else can you pretty much climb and walk on the entire building? I can’t say I’ve ever been to a place like that. The Opera house is built such that you can walk up its sloped sides and it is stunningly covered in reflective glass.
We had so much fun exploring around and on top of the building. We learned that it had only been finished in 2008 making it in my book fairly new. It has also won a few awards for its one-of-kind architecture.
And the “blue hour” for the Opera House is particularly stunning.
When walking around the building, we also got a sneak peak at some costumes that are used in shows. I wish I knew which ones because they sure look fun!
Don’t those wigs just look fabulous?! I’m not sure who the wig on the right is meant for but that lady seems like a hoot!
And please, if anyone knows which opera include a pig, a rabbit, and/or a coyote (???) please let me know. Not sure how anyone would really be able to sign in those masks. Maybe they are “silent” characters.
When chatting with our Couchsurfing host, he mentioned that the opera house was owned by the government (as opposed to being privately owned), which actually makes tickets quite affordable. For the both of us from LA, we wondered what “affordable” in Norway meant, especially since most people we met would talk on and on about how expensive Norway was. He mentioned that the cheapest ticket was around 100NOK.
What???? Thats a little over $10. I figured, hey, we’ve never been to the opera, if we can get in for practically nothing, in a beautiful opera house, in a country we are visiting for the first time, then we have to do it. I mean how could you not?!
So we checked out if there was anything actually playing. I’m sure Stratton secretly was thinking, “Please no, please no, please no!”
And of course there was, The Flying Dutchman. I know nothing about opera, and nothing about The Flying Dutchman or Richard Wagner (the composer), and can definitely not speak German (the apparent language of the opera), but I said, ummm yes. Especially when I found tickets that were around $20.
Clad in our finest opera attire (our winter hiking boots and fleeces, as always), we went to our first opera.
We hadn’t yet checked out the inside of the building, which of course, like the outside was so uniquely beautiful. I was so worried that we were going to stick out in our jeans and hiking boots, but to my surprise everyone was pretty casually dressed. Phew! I’m sure if we went to the opera in Vienna it would be a different story.
But intermission never came. Apparently, The Flying Dutchman is a one act opera, that lasts 2.5 hours. I couldn’t believe it! Honestly, I really commend the orchestra. That’s pretty impressive to be playing for that long.
With about 15 minute left, I realized that the little box in front of us was for subtitles. And after turning on the English ones, I found that we really hadn’t missed much. That’s the joy of the opera, even if it’s in another language, they are so expressive that you can pretty much guess as to what is going on. Although with the subtitles I came to discover that sometimes it took them a few minutes to sing a couple words. Later, Stratton’s described it perfectly, he gestured while fake singing, “I’m singing over here!” And then moved to the other side of the room and sang, “And now I’m singing over here!”
As we were walking out, Stratton looked at me and said, “Well, it’s good to try everything once.”
I felt that encompassed our experience perfectly.