Tuesday, May 03, 2011
Harpa Concert Hall
I'm honored to be singing as part of the Choir for Beethoven 9 in the grand opening concerts of Harpa, the national concert hall of Iceland. I even think I may be the only non-native person in the choir to be singing, so I feel extra special (and also slightly nervous that I might sneeze on national television or something).
I had a sneak peak at the current state of the building, as the three opening concerts begin tomorrow, but there is much to do. Still, the building is already very impressive, and I think it will be a great landmark in the city's architecture.
The building is really curious, it looks quite different from all sides. As it's based on Icelandic rock forms, and the curtain-like waves of the Northern Lights, one would imagine that there's a lot of complex geometry involved. The windows of the building have been the cause of millions of kronur of stress and frustration, but it's gonna be amazing when the construction is completed.
Here and there are colored mirror-like windows, which look really transparent from the inside but from the outside also reflect passing cars-- I don't know if this was intended but the moving reflections look like gemstones turning, their facets sparkling.
On the back side of the building are windows in even more colors- the 'green room' area had green, yellow, and orange windows.
Inside the concert hall is bathed in a beautiful red wood (sometimes crappily installed, but that will be invisible soon) and state-of-the-art lighting and acoustics. The choir for Beethoven 9 never sounded better. There's a great resonance without it being boomy or complicated. I could finally hear myself sing!
And the view of Esja in the distance, and the harbor, is simply amazing. I'd come to concerts here just to watch the midnight sun from the top of the staircases here. You'll have to scope that view out for yourself!
More pictures to come after the opening, as we are obligated to not reveal too much until the concerts have begun.