Soaring ticket sales for Oslo’s new national opera

Tickets to performances at Oslo’s new landmark, the National Opera, are selling at a record pace.

Operaen, front/Foto: Trond Isaksen/

Since the opening in mid-April, the public has continued to stream to Norway's new Opera House in Oslo, snapping up tickets to upcoming performances and turning the building itself into a major tourist attraction.

Tickets to the first production of the new season in the new Opera House, Porgy and Bess, sold out months ago. Nor are there any available tickets to Don Carlo, barring last-minute returns. Few tickets remain for scheduled ballet performances as well.

The ticket sales have exceeded The Norwegian Opera's highest expectations. "We have sold more tickets in two months that we did in all of last year at the old opera," director Bernt Bauge told newspaper Dagens Næringsliv.

By this time last year, the opera company had sold three of 10 tickets available. Now they've sold seven of 10, including all performances through next spring.

Bauge says he doesn't want to exaggerate what he calls a "myth" that everything is sold out. But the fact remains that most people showing up at the box office in the hopes of buying tickets, leave empty-handed.

Many then proceed to join the masses and wander around the white marble building instead. The sheer numbers of people descending on the opera (an estimated 50,000 a day) have led to severe soiling, and a 10-fold increase in the budget for keeping the building clean. The stunning, Snøhetta-designed building is rapidly becoming one of Oslo’s main tourist attractions, providing the city with a much needed facelift on its sea shore.

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