International Ibsen Stage Festival, Oslo
|Paul Engers||Dr Rank|
The artistic director of the Norwegian National Theatre (Nationatheatret), Stein Winge, initiates the first international Ibsen Stage Festival in the autumn of 1990. Looking for simplicity, creativity and the artistically sublime the aim of the festival is to present a full spectrum of interpretations of Ibsen’s plays.
The 10th festival in 2004 is the largest since 1996. With twelve guest productions selected from 120 different Ibsen productions worldwide, six productions of A Doll’s House, five in-house productions and an array of other activities, the festival signals the Norwegian National Theatre's first warm-up to the Ibsen Year 2006. Prominent foreign directors are invited including Sebastian Hartmann, Thomas Ostermeier, Stephan Kimmig and Stéphane Braunschweig.
In his opening address at the festival in 1990, president Vytautas Landsbergis of Lithuania stresses the importance of the International Ibsen Stage Festival for the freedom of speech and the international cultural work. The subsequent festivals have all fully shown that the works of Ibsen communicate with people of all cultures and walks of life. Practically all of those who have opened the festival or have been its guests of honour have commented on the theatre as a means of understanding cultural diversities. Among those who have expressed this view are Liv Ullmann, Vaclav Havel, Thorvald Stoltenberg, Åse Kleveland, Ellen Horn, Vigdís Finnbogadóttir, Lars Roar Langslet and HRH Crown Prince Haakon, the patron of the festival.
During the previous nine festivals productions from the following countries have visited Nationaltheatret: Bosnia, United Kingdom (England, Wales and Northern Ireland), Greece, Germany, Poland, Czechia, Italy, France, Sweden, Finland, China, Pakistan, the Netherlands, Burkina Faso, New Zealand, Lithuania, Canada, Russia, USA, Armenia, Denmark, Israel and Palestine.