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National premières

Norway, Denmark, Sweden, Finland, Germany, Austria, Switzerland, the USA and England are nations with strong and striking Ibsen traditions. The world premières of Ibsen`s plays took place in these countries (of 26 dramas, 14 had their world premières in Norway, 2 in Denmark, 2 in Sweden, 1 in the USA, 6 in Germany and 2 in Finland). The world premières are listed elsewhere on ibsen.net (here). Below we have produced surveys of national premières in Norway, Denmark, Sweden, Finland, Germany/Austria/Switzerland and the USA/England.


First performances in Norway

Of Ibsen’s 27 world premières, 15 were in Norway. The leading stages of the Norwegian theatre throughout history, the Christiania Theater, the Nationale Scene and Nationaltheatret, have let Ibsen put his stamp on their repertoires and contributed to Norway’s having strong Ibsen traditions.

First performances in Sweden

When the Kungliga Dramatiska Teatern in Stockholm staged the première of "The Feast at Solhaug" on 4 November 1857, this was the first time Ibsen had been put on in a theatre outside Norway.

First performances in Denmark

Ibsen had all his dramas from and including Brand (1866) published by Gyldendalske Boghandels Forlag in Copenhagen. From then on he was almost more oriented towards the Danish market than the Norwegian. His plays did not need to be translated to be put on in Danish theatres, and Ibsen had a good knowledge of and good contacts in the Danish theatre world.

First performances in Finland

Uniquely enough John Gabriel Borkman had its world première in Helsinki at two different theatres on the same day, 10 January 1897, namely the Suomalainen Teaatteri and the Svenska Teatern. The same two theatres fraternally alternated in being the first to put on new Ibsen plays in Finland from 1878 and onwards and are the dominant stages in the Finnish Ibsen tradition.

German first performances

Next to USA Germany is clearly the country in the world that has put on Ibsen most. It was also there that he had his first successes outside Scandinavia. Ibsen’s breakthrough in Germany in the mid 1870s laid the foundation for his breakthrough on a world scale.

English first performances

Ibsen did not achieve his breakthrough in the Anglo-American part of the world until the end of the 1880s. He had been introduced earlier, both on the book market and the stage, but without any really great success. But once he made his breakthrough in the English-speaking world, his fame had been secured: he was now a world-famous author.