The National Opera postpones first premiere

The Norwegian Opera is postponing its debut of "Around the World in 80 Days" until next season, because of security concerns involving stage equipment at Oslo's new Opera House.

Operaen i Bjørvika - Snøhetta illustrasjon

New staging equipment won't be secured in time for an April debut of Norwegian composer Gisle Kverndokk’s work "Around the World in 80 Days."

New staging equipment won't be secured in time for an April debut of "Around the World in 80 Days."

Opera chief Bjørn Simensen announced the debut postponement Monday afternoon, calling it "dramatic."

The opening gala performance for the new Opera House will proceed as planned, on April 12, as will the rest of the program for the spring and fall season of 2008.

But Kverndokk’s new opera work (called Jorden rundt in Norwegian) involves complicated technical staging with equipment that won't be secured by late April, when the debut was to take place.

Another, as yet unannounced, performance will be set up to replace "Around the World." Ticket sales will begin February 18.

Interest in the new Opera House remains high, and waiting lists are expected when the opera starts selling guided tours of the white marble building on Oslo's eastern waterfront.

Tour ticket sales will also start February 18, at a cost of NOK 100 each. The tours will start April 13, the day after the gala opening, and will eventually be conducted in 10 different languages.

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