Norwegian cruise vacations tend to emphasize the country's natural wonders, but man-made venues can be just as spectacular. Den Nationale Scene, a national theater located in Bergen, hosts a wide variety of plays throughout the year, from classics to contemporary romances, comedies to tragedies, farces to political pieces. These plays have enchanted both adults and children for more than 150 years.
Since 1993, Den Nationale Scene has held the title as a national theater, a go-to entertainment venue for visitors and residents alike. It's the largest theater in Bergen and one of the oldest of its kind in Norway. In 2012 alone, there were 708 performances in 39 productions and other events. Each year, more than 130,000 visitors flock to its stages.
Flashback of Den Nationale Scene
The theater opened in 1850 under the name The Norwegian Theatre. In 1863, the venue shut down for financial reasons but reopened three years later under its current name. In 1909 the theater's current building was designed by a man named Einar Oscar Schou. However, the halls and foyer were destroyed from grenade strikes during World War II, and were only partially rebuilt. It wasn't until the turn of the 21st century that the building was reconstructed almost entirely to its original shape.
Artistic bustle in Bergen
Nowadays the Den Nationale Scene is a entertainment hot spot with three stages during almost all months. Throughout the busy seasons, there are plays showing from 10 in the morning until 11 at night, so voyagers taking a land break from fjord cruises should have no trouble in finding an available play. At the height of its bustle, the National Theater presented 44 performances within the same week, with new productions still underway. Normally there are 20 productions featured annually.
At this bedrock of artistic creation, you may bump into writers, actors, playwrights, directors, set designers, choreographers, composers, musicians and performing artists. The building has three stages: Store Scene with 450 chairs, divided into orchestra space, parquet, front lodge and balcony; theater basement (formerly Småscenen) has 250 seats; and Lille Scene holds 90 seats.
Many of our cruises embark in Bergen, meaning if you arrive early enough you might be able to witness one of these outstanding performances.