My first opera visit in running gear and sneakers – in Oslo

Oslo Opera, NorwayOn a visit to Oslo, Norway, I was a daily visitor to the opera. In theory, this shouldn’t be odd as I love opera and try to go when and wherever I can.

But a busy work schedule meant I didn’t actually have time to ever get to a performance, not even one.

Oslo Opera, NorwayNevertheless, my daily visits were carried out like clockwork: at dawn. I visited the Oslo Opera early each morning to jog over its distinctive ‘flat iceberg’ shape.

For this opera house is known for its distinctive modern design, with its sparkling white Carrara marble plunging dramatically into the Oslofjord … very much like an iceberg.

Oslo Opera, NorwayConstruction on this opera house began in 2003, with a design competition won by the construction firm Snøhetta.

It was completed in 2008. Not surprisingly, the design won the EU’s Prize for Contemporary Architecture.

Oslo Opera, NorwayThe sloping roof is wide and a walk up provides striking views over Oslo. A jog up becomes urban hill training, but I always had time to catch my breath at the top for views over the Scandinavian capital just waking up.

I was told that concerts are sometimes played directly on the roof.

Oslo Opera, NorwayThe marble is topped by an exterior of cool glass, with glimpses inside of warm oak.

It looked very inviting – and I can’t wait to get back (both for morning jogs and evening performances, the latter not in running gear and sneakers, obviously).

If you’re in Oslo, be sure to make it to the opera. For other Oslo tips, see my earlier posts on jogging in Oslo, visiting the Nobel Peace Prize Museum and Oslo’s City Hall.


  1. evelyneholingue on June 20, 2017 at 5:44 pm

    Reminds me of the Opera Bastille, which was built while I lived feet away.
    Modern construction was still shocking to most Parisians back then. True it was bizarre near the Bastille plaza. But decades later it found its place and many great shows did too.
    Good for you to run early morning!

    • kimberlysullivan on June 27, 2017 at 6:11 pm

      You were near the Bastille when you lived in Paris? Love that neighborhood – so lively and interesting. The blending of modern and historical works so well in Paris, but I’m adamantly against it in Rome. Much happier to see the interesting modern constructions going up away from the historic center (Flaminio, EUR). Love all the modern construction in central Oslo, though next time I will actually venture IN the opera house (sans sneakers…)

      • evelyneholingue on June 27, 2017 at 7:49 pm

        Yes I lived there when I was single and then close by when I get married. If you glimpse at my recent blog post you’ll see a couple of photos from my last address in Paris 🙂
        Like you I think that some mix and match work better in some cities than others.
        I tend to favor old, even for houses, but some very modern design can be extremely pleasing to the eyes. Even what has been done at Le Louvre works.
        Yes I would do like you and go to the opera next time. I have done the same kind of things in Stockholm once. We were there for work and they played Carmen, so I went. Sans sneakers but in a business outfit:)

  2. Chris Galvin on June 20, 2017 at 9:04 pm

    Such an interesting design. And the fact that people can jog on top–great bonus.

    • kimberlysullivan on June 27, 2017 at 6:12 pm

      Agree with you, Chris! This was really a bright spot to my daily routine. And love how the opera plunges into the fjord.

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