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Det Kongelige Teater

location: Copenhagen, Denmark
client: state of denmark
architecture: SPLITTERWERK
structural consultant: WERKRAUM WIEN
projectteam: Mark Blaschitz, Ines Crnkovic, Heidelinde Felber, Hannes Freiszmuth, Edith Hemmrich in cooperation with Peter Bauer
critics: Bernhard Kargl, Johann Grabner, Josef Roschitz


At exactly 11 am, 781 bottles of Champagne are simultaneously smashed to pieces at the hull of the new theatre in Copenhagen. Tonight at 7 pm, Hanne and Ove meet their two friends in the foyer of the Royal Theatre. 5 pm. Where on earth is Ove! Hanne has waited for more than 10 minutes at the end of Kvaesthusgraven right in front of the south-west galleries of the theatre complex. 15 minutes. With huge steps, Hanne walks towards one of the escalators, which lead up to Prins Nikolai Plads along the building’s sloped façade. From up there, she has a unique view over the ridges of the surrounding roofs. The whole of Copenhagen lies at her feet. What glorious colours. Her looks roam across the Frederikskirken to the Amalienborg and out to the open sea. Almost windless. Half of Copenhagen surrenders to the warm summer sun. Hanne does not take the escalators. She decides to run up the stairs. Half way up, she disappears into a pub. One Tuborg, please. She fixes her eyes on the Kvaesthusgade. No trace of Ove can be seen yet. 5.30 pm. Hello Hanne. Hello Sven. Sven is a secretary at British Airways. His office is close to stairway 5, two levels up. Sven loosens his tie and orders a Gin Tonic with lots of ice. Hanne is wearing her black cocktail dress with the huge pink ribbon tonight. Yves Saint Laurent. Hanne makes good money. She works as a forewoman on a Norwegian oilrig.

The doors open with a low hissing sound. Ove leaps out of the underground and runs over to the runway a, horizontal escalator. Towards Opera / Teater. Only a few hundred meters to go. Off the runway (the one towards the opera) in time, and on to another one towards Kongelige Teater. 5 minutes to go. 5.40 pm. Hanne won’t be waiting any more. She could be in the Convention Center. There’s a restaurant with Viennese cuisine. Another 15 meters underneath the surface of the water. Past the box office and the cloakroom - up escalator #1 - Grand Foyer (at level with the promenade at the harbour) - on to escalator #2 - Foyer de Balkon (with a view onto the hotel at the Amalienhaven) - and finally escalator #3 - Foyer Kleines Theater (already above the roofs of Copenhagen) - up the last slope with a few quick steps. He reaches the pointed end of the building, a projection of 150 meters in a height of 30 meters. Intoxicating. They are showing the video-documentary on the building of the theatre. The second largest building site in Denmark for 781 days. He is out of breath. Where is Hanne? On Prins Nikolas Plads? The evening sun blinds him. He can hardly make out Nyhaven against the light. How to get to Christiansholm? A group of Japanese tourists asks for their way. Ove walks towards Sankt Annae Plads. Reaching the edge of the building after 185 meters, he takes the escalator to reach street level. By pure chance, he looks back and spots Hanne at the bar in a pub. Ove starts waving like mad. 6 pm. Hanne does not react. She must have seen him. Ove runs back up the stairs. He takes two or three steps at a time. Hello Hanne. You are one hour late, she says. He waits in vain for a kiss.

Tina is Roman. She arrived in Copenhagen by Lufthansa one hour ago. Her taxi drops her off directly at the south-west entrance. The traffic is immense. She does not hear the horns of the other cars. The driver won’t accept her Euros, she gets 200 Danish crowns from the cash-machine. Tina strolls through the Galeria-Sud-Ovest. Versace, Breitling, Cartier, Philip Starck, the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra and Karajan, Rodin - the shop-windows offer an exquisite selection. The shops are open until 10 pm - today even until midnight. Opening day. Tina dives into the world of theatre. Her walk, her posture, her whole self starts to change. Her white jeans outfit slowly turns into an evening dress. Glass, printed in numerous patters in multiple layers, breaks up the sunlight into different shades of colour - Kobenhavens farver. The structures of the rooms immerse into permanently changing moods of lighting. The White of her suit becomes the perfect surface for projections. A shining polychrome body slowly glides up along the wedge-shaped outline of the building -Tina. Avoiding the escalators, she reaches the exhibition on Sylvie Fleury in the Convention Center.

In this moment, she sees Ricardo coming up to the upper foyer from Prins Nikolai Plads on the escalator. As always, he wears a black suit, a black shirt, black shoes and black socks - and as always he wears his bright-ferrari-red baseball hat deep down his face. His favourite convertible parks safely guarded in the grand underground car park, which is linked to the theatre complex directly via the two galleries. Ricardo, too, is from Italy. Not from Rome. From Milan. He met Tina there and she has been the love of his life ever since. For the last six months he has been a manager at a Copenhagen company building tunnels - an ambitious concept for the underground railway. He collects four tickets at the box office. Entrance is free tonight. However, they had to make reservations - only 7.000 people are admitted into the theatre at the maximum. Tonight, the Copenhagen ensemble plays Dante’s Divine Comedy on the grand stage, at the same time the Sydney Dance Theatre performs at the Blackbox and the rehearsal stage features a performance of Rebecca Horn (for the first time in 25 years). At 11 pm, Pink Floyd take over. They simultaneously need the grand stage, both support stages and the back of the grand stage for their show. All auditoriums will be merged into one space, in addition to which the foyers and the Convention Center will be used as auditorium. A flexible space-organisation makes it possible. 7 pm. Ove in blue trousers, brown shoes and a crude, light green cardigan. Hanne, Tina and Ricardo. They haven’t seen each other for more than a year. Hug. Kiss. Gong - the bell rings for the first time. An engine screams. A helicopter lands on Prins Nikolai Plads. The Royal Family enters the VIP-area. Champagne. Gong, Gong. The audience has taken their seats. The waiters in the foyers still serve customers. Lumumba. Paella. Coup Denmark. Loud laughter at the bars. Gong, Gong, Gong. Silence in the theatre. Curtain. Roaring applause. A dog barks to music from a melodica. Hanne, played by Birte Christensen. Directed by Lars von Trier. The credits are on. For a couple of seconds, no one dares to move or even get up. 10 pm. Aurora Borealis? No, in Copenhagen, it is the moon.

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