Ole Robert Reitan has big plans for the venerable Postgården building in downtown Trondheim and has enlisted the aid of local experts to help realise this dream. An art museum will fill the spot previously occupied by the main post office in Trondheim, while there are plans to open a new theatre in the nearby Apotekerveita street.
-Postgården was Karl Norum’s final masterpiece before he passed away. The venerable building will be opened to the public with art and culture to help make Trondheim even more vibrant and relevant, says Ole Robert Reitan.
Exhibitions featuring visiting works from artists around the world will be presented between the columns in the spacious main hall, alongside art from Reitan’s own collection. In the same city block, an ultra-modern theatre building will feature theatre, musicals and concerts to rival the best efforts from West End and Broadway.
-Behind Postgården, in Apotekerveita, we are planning a theatre with room for around 600 guests. We want to make Trondheim an even more exciting city to visit and to live in, says Ole Robert Reitan.
Experts on modern art and theatre
The art museum clearly aspires to be one of the leading modern art arenas in the Nordic region. The board of directors for the art museum will consist of Tone Hansen, gallery owner Peder Andreas Lund, attorney Rasmus Brodtkorb, art historian Monica Reitan and Ole Robert Reitan.
I want an art museum and a theatre that excites, surprises and inspires. The doors must be thrown wide. Here we will dare to display art that challenges and entertains us. Art is very personal, you might see something entirely different than what I see, and that is what’s so fascinating. Art creates unique experiences for each person, which is exactly what this art hub intends to do,says Ole Robert Reitan.
Tone Hansen will be the working chair of the board, and the responsible art professional of the museum.
Tone Hansen is museum director at the Henie Onstad Art Centre. She trained at the Academy of Arts in Oslo and has been head of the Arts Council Norway. Tone has distinguished herself as curator, art journalist and manager with a strong commitment to the role that cultural life plays in society. Tone grew up in Klæbu outside Trondheim.
– An art museum is a fantastic addition to the art scene, both locally and internationally. It is a unique opportunity to be part of creating something as innovative as this institution intends to be, says Tone Hansen. This is going to be a true pearl, both artistically and structurally, she continues. -Together with a competent board with important networks, we will now get started on the work of developing this place to delight the local population, but our goal is also to create international attention. That is how we can reinforce Trondheim as a culture destination.
-Monica and Ole Robert Reitan have laid the foundation for this exceptional project through their long-standing commitment to the arts, and that made it easy to accept this assignment, says Tone Hansen.
The objective is to develop a unique showcase for art, with international quality and local relevance. The building, the art and the programme aim to create local excitement and international interest.
-We will bring international artists and exhibitions, the likes that Trondheim has never seen before. The programme will be broad and exclusive, but communicated in a straightforward way, says Ole Robert Reitan.
Mads Bones becomes theatre manager
The theatre will be run by a newly established operating company which, in addition to Mads Bones as theatre manager, consists of Stian Aagaard as director and Ole Robert Reitan as chair. Playwright/actor Olve Løseth and composer Kyrre Havdal will have key roles in the artistic management of the theatre.
Mads Bones is currently the art director at “Det Nye Teateret,” a theatre of performing arts. He graduated from the Russian State Institute of Performing Arts in 2007 and since then has garnered attention as both an actor, director and playwright. Many will know him from is work at Trøndelag Teater where he has been responsible for a number of hit productions. Mads was born and raised in Trondheim.
-The fact that a new grass-roots theatre is being built at the very heart of the city centre is the greatest thing to happen in the Trøndelag art world since the grand days of Hjorten Revy- og Varietéteater (revue show). When Ole Robert Reitan came up with the idea that we should join forces in the dream to create a national entertainment hub in Central Norway, I just couldn’t say no. I look forward to being the artistic director of the theatre and I intend to put together a star-studded team, both backstage and on stage. We have a stated ambition of being a five-star theatre for the people, says Mads Bones.
Both the theatre and the art museum will shine with qualities just as fine as the top-notch qualities exuded by the nearby Britannia Hotel. They will tempt the public to come for a combined visit and not least, to come back again and again.
-We promise to offer up the biggest titles from both West End and Broadway productions, and of course also combine this with our own original productions, Mads Bones continues.
-Some of my fondest childhood memories are from when my grandma took us kids to the theatre. Theatre manager Mads will be working with talented people who are passionate about creating memories for theatregoers, says Ole Robert Reitan.
Wants to create more interest in art and culture
The art museum and the theatre will be a welcome addition to the local scene and create more interest in art and culture.
-Trondheim has an active art scene with academic art education, several galleries, art hall museums and theatres. This commitment to art and theatre aims to strengthen the field and will not be in competition with the other theatres, museums and galleries, says Ole Robert Reitan.
Svein Skibnes is the architect of the theatre and E.C. Dahls Eiendom is the building owner for the entire project, which has a planned completion date sometime during 2023.