The Operafestukene opera festival starts on Thursday 2 February in Kristiansund and runs until 18 February. More than sixty concerts and performances will be held in the town. Norway's largest opera festival brings together both professional soloists from across Norway, as well as amateurs and volunteers from across the region.

This year's main performances - The Troubadour (Il trovatore) and The Riviera Girl (Die Csárdásfürstin) are staged at conventional opera venues, while many of the smaller performances and concerts during the opera festival are held in more intimate settings around town.

A link to the full programme and ticket sales can be found at the bottom of the article.

The whole town is a stage

Many of the performances are in traditional venues but most of opera festival’s concerts are held in different parts of the town – in cafes, restaurants, libraries, outdoor spaces and on the Sundbåten harbour ferry. Using such venues is one of the festival’s trademarks. According to the opera intendant Line Lønning Andresen, it’s a wonderful experience for the singers to get close to the audience in cafes and restaurants, where they perform around the audience rather than on a stage some distance away.

Operasjef Line Lønning Andresen|© Operaen i Kristiansund

‘We also hold concerts at all the city's nursing homes during the festival. These are well received and terrific both for the residents and the soloists who participate in the concerts.’

Stikkut! opera has also become quite a tradition during the opera festival in Kristiansund. This year's outdoor concert takes place in what is perhaps Kristiansund's finest park area, Vanndamman, at 12:30 on Sunday 12 February. The organisers promise a great atmosphere and beautiful song!

Italian masterpiece for Kristiansund

Among the highlights of the year is the classic opera The Troubadour (Il trovatore). This is one of Giuseppe Verdi's most performed operas and, like many of Verdi's operas, it centres around love, power, revenge, family secrets and conflict.

The Troubadour is magnificent in its most brilliant form, with arias and ensembles with passionate intensity, musical diversity and fervent emotions.

The Riviera Girl (Die Csárdásfürstin)

The other highlight of this year’s opera festival is ‘The Riviera Girl’ – one of the world's most renowned operettas and a dream of a performance!

It tells the story of a love drama between Sylva Varescu, the lively cabaret star from humble beginnings, the aristocrat Edwin, and his cousin Stasi. It's set at the beginning of the 19th century and you can look forward to the delightful costumes, brilliantly elegant scenography and wonderfully catchy melodies that you are bound to have heard before.

Norway's best performers

The soloists performing during the opera festival are among the best performers in Norway. Among this year's performers are Sigrid Vetleseter Bøe, Lina Johnson, Trondheimsolistene (the Trondheim soloists), and of course, Operaens Sinfonietta symphony orchestra.

Alongside the soloists, many talented amateurs from across the region take part, both on stage and in the orchestra. The opera festival engages the whole town, and there are more than 300 volunteers who sew, do makeup, build sets and serve customers.

Operafestukene arrangeres hvert år i februar i Kristiansund|© Operaen i Kristiansund

Proud of the opera

‘I think the people of Kristiansund are proud of the opera. The opera festival is a ray of light during an otherwise dark and gloomy time of the year. The public appreciates having a festival of the people in February,’ says Andresen.

The festival draws people into the town and there’s a great atmosphere at the bustling hotels and restaurants. If you plan to visit Kristiansund during the Operafestukene opera festival, it’s advisable that you book in advance.

Where to stay in Kristiansund

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