Janne Robberstad

Welcome to my site! I work as an eco-designer, an artist, as a teacher and as a researcher, and creating, or ARTING as I prefer, makes me happy! This is both a portfolio of things I´ve made and a blog meant to inspire.

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Oslo, the Opera and The Eurovision Song Contest

By spotogspindel | May 27, 2010

All of a sudden I find myself in Oslo, attending a workshop at the Opera! Somebody had to turn down their place in the workshop, and I jumped at the chance. These workshops are pretty hard to get into, so I was thrilled at getting the chance. And the workshop they were offering made it even more interesting: learning how to sew a classic tutu! 

If you don´t know what it is, look at the next post.

Anyway, here is my workplace this week:

The Opera was built just a few years ago, by Snøhetta. It´s all white marble, and beautiful. Last week the sculpture “She lies” was placed in the sea right in front of the opera, and it has raised quite a bit of discussion (like public art often does)

Made of metal and glass, mounted to the sea-floor with a big chain, “she” is always in motion.

Inside I met the other 9 costume-makers (some of them actually working in the Opera). We were given a brief introduction, handed a pile of candy-colored tulle and told to get going! This is a production-workshop, which basically means that I don´t have to pay to attend, and I don´t get to bring anything with me when I´m done, except the know-how. In other words, I am free labour for the opera for a week, making them a tutu-skirt for one of the ballerinas in “The Nutcracker”, staged every Christmas.

The Opera is one of the main tourist-attractions in Oslo, and there are lots of tourists visiting, taking tours. One of the first groups on Tuesday was a big delegation of serious men in suits. Turned out to be the complete foreign ministry of Croatia. Earlier in the day, I ran into a group of four Bulgarian dancers, practicing their routine for the evenings show… 

Which leads me to the next adventure of the day. 

Every year, one country in Europe is host to a huge TV-show called The Eurovision Song Contest. Last year it was in Russia, and Alexander Rybak from Norway won, which means that we are hosts this year. I know America probably never heard of this contest at all, but I can tell you that this is how ABBA became known in 1974, when they won. The music has been criticized for being shallow and not-so-good, and in Norway it´s the show everybody “loves to hate”, and everybody watches. The cool thing about it though, is that there are 39 countries participating on the same stage, and presenting music with more or less national identity. There are all kinds of genres, and the costumes!!! 

Since there are so many countries involved, the contest is divided into two semi-finals, and my lovely friend Liv Eiren, who I happened to be staying with, had a couple of free tickets for the first semi-finale. (She is working as a volunteer, taking care of the German delegation) 

The arena has room for 20 000, but I think there were only about 6-7000 on Tuesday, the finale on Saturday will be packed. There were lots of languages in the air. Above are some blood-fans from Finland.

There was Mariah-Carey-ish ballads, finnish forrest fairies, techo beats and disco beats and balalaika men dancing and and good old rock… 

There were long dresses and micro-bikinis and sweaters with scarves and sequins, oh those sequins, and angle-wings and butterfly-wings… But if you ask me, I think the lighting designer was the winner. He had no less than 78 guys running the show, and it was beautiful! Varied, simple and very effectful. Oh, and the set-designer too. And the graphic designer. Somebody´s been working hard for their money.  It was, no doubt, a great show and a great evening. 

Topics: Diverse | 2 Comments »

2 Responses to “Oslo, the Opera and The Eurovision Song Contest”

  1. andrew from oz Says:
    May 28th, 2010 at 04:43

    Hell Janne, my what an exciting life you lead. And interesting. I don’t mind the sculpture – as long as it doesn’t sink any ships.

    We watch ESC in Oz,- well some people do – it’s interesting because it has some weird pulsating animal energy that the performers provide.

    Yyet it doesn’t matter how beautiful they are (and they all are) its kind of like eating plastic.


    not that I don’t like plastic.

    You write very well, did you know?

  2. Erin Leigh Says:
    May 29th, 2010 at 05:14

    wow…. what a life, janne. the contest sounds really fun. I think the closest thing to it here might be American Idol. And i love it. but definitely not as diverse + varied… let’s see those tutus! I want pictures… also, did you say you had new ship art a while back?