"To me, the greatest pleasure of writing is not what it's about, but the music the words make." - Truman Capote

The Norwegian National Opera Orchestra

The Opera Orchestra, consisting of 101 full-time orches­tra musicians, has established itself in recent years as one of Norway’s leading orchestras. In the course of a season, the orchestra musicians participate in around 160 opera and ballet performances, and each season they play three to four major symphonic concerts on the main stage of the opera house.

The orchestra can trace its history back to 1827, more specifically to Strømberg Theatre, one of the first venues for opera performance in Norway. Christiania Theatre, established in 1837, and the National Theatre, which opened in 1899, remained the orchestra’s headquarters until the Norwegian National Opera opened its doors at Youngstorget in 1959.

When the Norwegian National Opera and Ballet moved into its iconic new building at Bjørvika in 2008, the or­chestra finally had its own rehearsal and performance spaces with world-class acoustics.

Since the establishment of the symphonic concert se­ries, renowned names such as Lorin Maazel, Zubin Mehta, Leif Segerstam, Alexander Lazarev, Michail Jurowski and Hartmut Haenchen have appeared as guest conductors and have, together with the orchestra, created many magical moments. In addition to perfor­mances and concerts, the orchestra musicians also pro­duce their own chamber music series on Stage 2.

The musicians’ most important collective objective is to create the best possible orchestral framework for the performances of the Norwegian National Opera and Ballet. The orchestra garners fine reviews both in Norway and abroad. Moreover, over many years the or­chestra has had a productive collaboration with Rinaldo Alessandrini in performances of Handel and Mozart operas, among others, and with Alessandrini as conduc­tor it released a critically acclaimed recording of opera overtures of W. A. Mozart. Listeners can also enjoy the Opera Orchestra’s contributions to recordings by so­pranos Eli Kristin Hanssveen and Marita Sølberg, con­ducted by John Helmer Fiore.

In the autumn of 2016, the orchestra received the Tom Wilhelmsen Opera and Ballet Prize of one million Nor­wegian crowns. The prize enabled the orchestra to go on tour, giving concerts in Copenhagen and Helsinki in the autumn of 2017.

Ingar Heine Bergby is one of Norway’s leading conduc­tors, with many achievements within classical music, opera, and contemporary and crossover music. He has distinguished himself as an artist with the power to shape ideas and one with passion and dedication to his work.

Bergby was born in 1964 in Sarpsborg, Norway into a musical family and began playing band music. He studied clarinet with Richard Kjelstrup at the Norwegian Acad­emy of Music and later orchestra conducting there with Karsten Andersen, as well as with Jorma Panula at the Si­belius Academy. He received a degree in conducting with honours from the Norwegian Academy of Music in 1991.

Featured on

Norwegian Opera Overtures
The Norwegian National Opera Orchestra