A select few guests recently completed the first walk-through of the new opera house in Bjørvika. In a building dominated by construction and dust, opera soloists sang the first tunes that will fill the building starting 12 April 2008.
"It's wonderful to come here and see how far the building process has come. A dream has come true. We are really looking forward to moving in here," said soloist Ingebjørg Kosmo to the newspaper Aftenposten.
Little has been left to chance for the performers that will move into the opera house. In addition to the first tunes sang by performers from the Norwegian Opera at the walk-through, dancers from the National Ballet were at the building in March testing the floors to ensure that the pirouettes and jumps are optimal before performances start.
Renowned architect bureau Snøhetta has designed the building after winning an international contest in 2000. The building area is 38 500 square meters (126,000 square feet) and comprises more than 100 rooms. In the main hall, 1370 audience members will be able to enjoy a performance, and acoustics have been the main focus throughout the building.
The interior design in the opera will be carried out in a minimalist style, and a separate artistic embellishment committee will oversee the decorative aspects of the building. Among the most impressive elements is the chandelier in the main concert hall, which the company Hadeland Glassverk is responsible for. The chandelier will comprise 17.000 glass units and hang approximately 16 metres (52 feet) above the floor. It will also function as an acoustic reflector. The main hall and the rest of the building will contain several other impressive features. Theatre chairs worth a total of NOK 10,4 million ($1,6 million) are on their way from Italy, and workers from the company Naturstein are currently mounting 36 000 marble plates on the building.
To follow the developments yourself, visit the web cameras on the builder Statsbygg's website: Web camera 1. Web camera 2.