This year Chalmers International Reception Committee, gave out vouchers sponsored by Student Goteborg, that provided access to events for free or for reduced prices in order to help new students explore the city better. One of the many captivating events was free entry to the Gotheburg Opera House. Students got free access last year too, but I missed out so I made sure I do not let this chance slip through my hands.
Luckily the opera that I got to see was one of the all time famous opera shows, called Figaros Bröllop. The show was scheduled to be 3 hours long, so I hastily ate a burger before I entered the premises, to ensure that I can enjoy the performance without any distractions. It was my first visit inside the Opera, and I was mesmerized by the fine detailing, the grandness and interior of the main hall, which can accommodate 1300 people at a time. No wonder it is claimed to be one of the finest Opera houses in Northern Europe. It went through an extensive renovation during 2009 and has two stages, the Main stage and the Small stage. The stages have very extensive spaces, loaded with all the latest technologies to lift up and move equipment and screens; some of which can weigh as much as 15 tons. Careful detailing has been done on the wall panels and the seating so that the quality of materials and the orientation of different elements enhance the acoustics and make the experience more rich for the audience. Right outside the Main stage one can find a souvenir shop and a small bar, that serves rather pricey food but one would expect that in such a setting. I just bought a small slice of cake to keep my energy level going during the night. You can also book a table if you like and your order will be delivered there. The people outside the hall can always see on TV screens, what is happening inside; around 200 of them have been installed to keep every visitor engaged.
The show was in Italian, but there was a screen above the stage that showed subtitles in Swedish. It was bit of an inconvenience to be wobbling your head up and down to keep track of what was being said, but the performances were captivating and definitely worth this bit of trouble. The acting was incredibly fine and the sets were beautiful. As the name suggests the show revovlved around the issue of marriage and problems related to it. I would not give any spoilers for those who have not heard the story line before and want to experience it themselves. I would strongly recommend to grab the first chance you get to visit the Opera and enjoy a laid back evening there!
Pictures from: www.en.opera.se