Peer Gynt

Peer Gynt (1876) was a theatre production by Christiania Theatre, the world premiere of the play by Henrik Ibsen. The music was specially composed by Edvard Grieg, by Ibsen's own request.

Ludvig Josephson directed it.

Henrik Klausen acted in the title role.

From 1892, the theatre only performed the first three acts.


(Objekt ID 44020)
Object type Production
Premiere February 24, 1876
Produced by Christiania Theatre
Based on Peer Gynt by Henrik Ibsen
Audience Adults
Number of events 87
Language Norwegian
Keywords Theatre, Drama
Running period February 24, 1876  —  June 7, 1893
Duration 5 hours
Website Nasjonalbiblioteket


Berg, Thoralf. (2009, 13. februar). Henrik Klausen. From Norsk biografisk leksikon, found November 5 2014 at

The National Library of Norway,, 11.11.2014 / 12.01.2016,,,,,

Wikipedia,, 07.12.2011, 

Performance dates
August 2, 1876Det Gamle Teater/Komediehuset visiting performance
February 24, 1876Christiania Theater, Christiania Theatre Worldwide premiere
Press coverage

Writer unknown, 25.02.1876, Aftenbladet [Kristiania]:
"As such, all of the first act seemed to be the most coherent and dramatic, and to have the greatest effect, and the acclaim was both strong and frequent, as it at the end of the act rose to a delighted calling forth of Miss Parelius and Mr. Klausen, whose acting as Aase and Per Gynt (SIC) also had been rather excellent. [...] As such, one dares say that the play was followed with interest and received very favourable, though it can't be denied that there is greater interest concerning singular tableaus of different character, than to the dramatic development of the play or the direction of the plot. [...] Who, however, triumphed greatly, was Mr. Klausen, whose rendition of the title role was very talented and well studied. [...] Edv. Grieg has for the play written music [...] we acknowledge that we didn't immediately last night, during the impressions coming at us from all sides, were able to fully grasp the music, which however in its fundamental features were characteristic of the composer and certainly should deserve further learning."

Writer unknown, 25.02.1876, Aftenposten [Kristiania]:
"The first production of Peer Gynt — played at heightened prices to a wholly sold-out house yesterday — must be characterised as a complete success for its writer, Mr. Ibsen, for its composer, Mr. Grieg, for the arranger, Mr. Josephson, and for the performer of the title role, Mr. Klausen. The daring experiment is as such successful. [...] So much good and so much talent have been brought forward in this performance. [...] As far as known is, no theatre director prior to Mr. Josephsonhave realised the thought of bringing this drama to the stage. [...] For a long time, one has heard rumours about the efforts and the eminence of decorations and props, and these rumours turned out to be far from unreasonable, the reality far exceeded the expectations of most. [...] In the whole, so much effort, art and true eminence have likely not been seen at our theatre. [...] Mr. Klausenhas in Peer Gynt created a role, that makes him without protest one of our theatre's greats. [...] Grieg's music was very effectual and brilliantly connected to the situations. [...] That Peer Gynt will bring coin to the coffers one shouldn't doubt, from now on it belongs to the plays all people must have seen."

Writer unknown, 25.02.1876, Dagbladet [Kristiania]:
"It was also very clear, that the audience's interest was kept mostly throughout the first three acts, something which can't completely be due to the tiredness, that will to some degree be in effect among spectators when a performance lasts for five full hours. [...] At no point could one trace the uncertainty that tends to stick to a first time performance too often, and it was easy to see that all the involved, no exception, had gone to work with love and interest for the significant assignment they had been given in interpreting the great work of poetry. Out of the title role, Mr. Klausen had created a character, that without exaggerating it can be called something of the most perfected ever presented on a Norwegian stage. [...] Beside Mr. Klausen one should in particular mention Miss Parelius and Mr. Isachsen; of whom can also be said that their renditions of the respective parts were close to excellence. The music composed by Mr. Grieg for the play, characteristically connected to the writing, contributed not least to the successful whole."

Writer unknown, 26.02.1876, Morgenbladet [Kristiania]:
"[...] Mr. Klausen. Of all this prosperous artist has performed until now, hardly anything has so decidedly described his progress or so confidently proven his talent, as his rendition of this [...] Miss Parelius gives an excellent Aase. [...] witnesses particular gifts as a dramatic composer, and there is a brave originality in all of the musical treatment. [...] What concerns the staging, it can be said without exaggeration, that something as perfected in this direction has not been presented on our stage."

Writer unknown, 03.03.1876, Saisonen [Trondhjem]:
"Nor has Mr. Klausen at any former time succeeded in winning such a general, lively recognition from the audience, as this evening. Almost every major scene was followed by applause, he was called forth between acts and at the end. [...] Miss Parelius also won deserved recognition in applause and calls. [...] The music is surely in the whole an excellent work, insofar as one can judge from this singular performance, considering that the audience to a large degree lacked decent interest and respect for the composer, and liberally carried on their conversation during many of its parts."