Today, we made the trip from Rauland to Oslo. We traveled through mountain passes, tunnels, forests and fjords and made it to Oslo. Our first stop was the Holmenkollen Ski Museum. I had contacted a choral conductor friend of mine, Thomas Caplin, who is the co-founder of the World Youth Choir, the director of choral activities in the University of Norway (etc), came to the museum to meet us for lunch. He briefly addressed the choir, and we spent the rest of our lunch time discussing our latest projects.
Then we set off for our tour of Oslo’s sensational opera house. We split in two groups with two different tour guides and then ended up meeting in the orchestra seats on the first floor of the stage. Our tour guide Mari Anne, keeps getting us into mischief by telling our hosts that we are a choir, and then getting us to sing, which we adore, and so the Minot State University Choir got its Oslo Opera House debut. So as the crew set up for the evening’s performance of Cenerentola by Rossini, we sang Shenandoah by James Erb.
Then we went up to the roof and sang Dalakopen by Bjørn Kruse:
The choir stayed on to watch Cenerentola in the Opera House, and I took a few of the choristers who wished to join me in watching a rehearsal of the Oslo Kammerkor. From Rachmaninov’s Liturgy of St John Chrysostom, Op. 31 to new Norwegian folk material from their recent album Veneliti, the rehearsal was absolutely stunning to watch. Then after the 3 hour rehearsal we went out for drinks with the choir and their director, Håkon Nystedt.
According to anecdotes from the MSU choir, the opera was fantastic. So our first night in Oslo was a grand success!