The Copenhagen Opera House (Operaen) is the national opera house of Denmark, and among the most modern opera houses in the world. It is also one of the most expensive opera houses ever built with construction costs well over 500 million U.S. dollars. It is located on the island of Holmen in central Copenhagen.
The Opera House was donated to the Danish state by the A.P. Møller and Chastine Mc-Kinney Møller Foundation in August 2000. Some politicians were offended by the private donation, in part because the full cost of the project would be tax deductible, thus virtually forcing the government to buy the building; but it was accepted by the Folketing and the government in the autumn of 2000. It was opened on January 15, 2005 in the presence of Mærsk Mc-Kinney Møller, Danish Prime Minister Anders Fogh Rasmussen, and Queen Margrethe II.
The Opera is located in Copenhagen just opposite the main castle Amalienborg at the shore of the harbor. The opera house is built in alignment with Amalienborg and The Marble Church, so that if one stands in the main entrance of the Opera, one can see the Marble Church over the water along the road through Amalienborg. The specific part of the island where the Opera was built is named Dokøen, which means the Dock Island. Just a few meters west of the opera, one can still see an old dock and a pumping station.
The house is administered by the Royal Danish Theatre and is one of the best-equipped in the world. It has a main stage with five other stages directly connected, where large setups can be moved easily in and out. There are between 1492 and 1703 seats, depending on the size of the orchestra. The 1492 seats are all individually angled in order to provide the best experience. The orchestra pit provides room for 110 musicians and the building provides excellent sound quality for the orchestra.
Just like the old Royal Danish Theatre in Copenhagen, the Queen has her own balcony on the left side of the auditorium, closest to the stage. According to the tour guide, she decided that she preferred this arrangement rather than the more conventional central placement because she loves to be close to the stage to see the artists preparing behind the sidewalls before entering the stage.
Besides the main stage, the building also includes a small stage for experimental theatre, a so-called "black box" theatre called Takkelloftet. It was named after the original Takkelloftet, a building just south of the Opera 280 meters long and built between 1767 and 1772 for storing ropes for the navy. Takkelloftet has its own foyer. In this room, some of the walls are decorated using the same Jura Gelb limestone as outdoor. These stones are mounted on the wall in a way that makes it possible to use the stone plates as a kind of music instrument just by knocking on them with bare hands.
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|Geographical coordinates||55.6819440, 12.6005560|
|Address||1438 Copenhagen, Ekvipagemestervej 10|
|Construction dates||2001 - 2004|
|More information||official website|