Unusual legal threat hits Bergen theater

Bergen’s venerable national theater (Den Nationale Scene) has been threatened with a lawsuit from the mother of  author Vigdis Hjorth, over the theater’s dramatic production of Hjorth’s novel Arv og miljø (Wills and Testaments). The theater seems caught in Hjorth’s family feud over her book, with Hjorth’s mother now claiming that the play based on […]

Ibsen Festival starts its run

Several of the productions mounted as part of this year’s Ibsen Festival are already sold out, according to the proud festival chief Runi Sveen. He’s hosting some of the world’s biggest and most well-known theater directors in Oslo this week and next, as the annual festival celebrating Norway’s greatest playwright gets underway. “I’m proud that […]

New Ibsen theater won funding

Among “goodies” offered by the Norwegian government in its state budget proposal for next year is an allotment of NOK 8 million (USD 1 million) to create a new, small theater for performing plays by Norway’s legendary Henrik Ibsen. The theater will be constructed inside the historic building that also houses the Ibsen Museum and […]

State finally saves its National Theater

Norway’s historic National Theater in Oslo is in such bad shape that tarps and scaffolding have been set up around it, to keep its crumbling facade from hitting passersby in the head. After years of neglect, the government has finally announced a major renovation of the theater known as playwright Henrik Ibsen’s house. One can only wonder what Ibsen, […]

Acclaimed actor dies at 85

Actor Joachim Calmeyer was being mourned and hailed this week as among the “oldest and wisest” within Norwegian theater. Calmeyer died at his home at Grue in Hedmark on Monday after a short illness, at the age of 85. Calmeyer was “one of Norway’s finest actors,” both on stage and in films, wrote critic Mode […]

Ullmann to bow out, privately

UPDATED: Norwegian actress and director Liv Ullmann launched another major theater project in Oslo last weekend, and it may be her last. When her new Norwegian stage version of Ingmar Bergman’s Fortrolige samtaler (Private Confessions) completes its run later this year, Ullmann claims she wants to retire to an anonymous existence. In a tearful radio interview with state broadcaster NRK […]

Pension costs keep threatening opera, ballet and theaters

The Norwegian Opera & Ballet is among cultural institutions facing a financial tragedy of dramatic dimensions. With fully a quarter of its state funding going towards simply covering pension costs, both the singers, dancers and their employers are trying to avoid seeing the lights go out. State politicians were also stepping in to avoid a strike after labour talks […]

Shakespeare’s Globe returns to Oslo

Actors from Shakespeare’s Globe in London will be returning to Oslo this summer to mount a production, in English, of Romeo & Juliet at the historic Akershus Fortress and Castle. It will be the fourth time since 2009 that the theater company presents one of Shakespeare’s plays inside the castle that dates back to the […]

National Theater needs a facelift

The leader of Norway’s National Theater is making a passionate appeal for a massive rehabilitation of the venerable building that opened in 1899. Anne Enger has gone from fighting against Norway’s membership in the European Union to fighting for the survival of a national landmark. Enger, former head of the farmer-friendly Center Party who led the anti-EU movement […]

Pension costs hit Oslo orchestra

Pension costs for Norwegian theatres and orchestras have increased by NOK 70 million (USD 11.7 million) over three years. The Oslo Philharmonic (Oslo-Filharmonien, OFO) is the latest to be hit, expecting an increase of NOK 6.7 million this year on top of the stipulated NOK 16.2 million pension cost. “We have had to budget for […]