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Norwegian Opera House, Oslo, Norway

Monday 14 Apr 2008

From Movie-House to Marble Majesty

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Oslo Opera House move sees inauguration by the King 

The $800million Oslo Opera House designed by Norwegian architects Snoehetta opened on Saturday with King Harrald in attendance. Oslo’s Opera had been operating from a run-down movie theatre before the building was constructed.

The new structure is sympathetically designed to fit its fjord setting with the sloping side resembling an iceberg. The 1000 room venue is the biggest of Norway’s cultural buildings and is clad in 35,000 Carrara-marble slabs. A centre-piece chandelier made with 17,000 glass units hangs in the main opera hall where the King enjoyed performances of Mozart, Verdi and Edvard Grieg.

The building is a centre-piece in itself to a development on the bank of the Bjoervika district which aims to bring new offices, museums and homes to the area. But the development is not without controversy. Norway’s culture minister, Trond Giske, is said to believe the building could prove too noisy if houses are built too close and former Progress Chairman, Carl I. Hagan, believes the investment could have been spent better on healthcare.

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