OSLO.-The new opera house in Bjørvika in Oslo has been inaugurated by King Harald V. Renowned architect bureau Snoehette 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.
According to Snoehette, the Oslo architects who designed the building, the roughly 1,000- room Opera, including one 1,350-seat and one 400-seat auditoriums, is the largest cultural building raised in Norway in 700 years, when the Nidaros Cathedral was completed in the city of Trondheim in about 1300.
The interior design in the opera has been carried out in a minimalist style, and a separate artistic embellishment committee has overseen 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 comprises 17.000 glass units and hangs approximately 16 metres (52 feet) above the floor. It alsos function as an acoustic reflector. The main hall and the rest of the building contain several other impressive features. Theatre chairs worth a total of NOK 10,4 million ($1,6 million) were brought from Italy, and workers from the company Naturstein mounted 36 000 marble plates on the building.
A two-and-a-half hour opening performance featured highlights from various operas and ballets before an audience that included Norway's Queen Sonja, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, Danish Queen Margrethe and about 1,350 other invited guests.