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Opera House

1 Kirsten Flagstads Plass
Norway 0150
Tel: 47 21 42 21 00's insider take:

When Oslo's new opera house opened in 2008 at the edge of the fjord, just a short walk from the city center, the city finally had a new landmark. And the design accolades have not stopped pouring in for Snøhetta, the Norwegian architects behind the space. Angular with stark silvery and white surfaces and the cold blue glow of glass reflecting the midnight or low-winter sun, the opera house was meant to conjure the country's stark icescapes and fjords. Guided tours are offered in English on weekends, and they take you backstage and into some of the performance halls. But if you want to save your kroner, you can still wander into the main entry halls most anytime to enjoy the structure's beautiful bones free of charge and pause for a meal at Sanguine Brasserie, in the atrium, or the more formal restaurant Argent (good for pre- or post-theater). Performances here range from the massive and mainstream (The Nutcracker) to offbeat small-troupe ballets and diverse folk shows from India. During the summer months, crowds set up picnics on the Opera House's sloping rooftop to enjoy free outdoor concerts.—Terry Ward

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