Lasse Kolstad


January 20, 2022

Lars «Lasse» Kolstad (born 10 January 1922 in Kristiania, died 14 January 2012 in Oslo) was a Norwegian actor and singer. On stage, he is remembered especially from the role of Tevje in Spelemann on the Roof, from radio as the narrator in the audio play Dickie Dick Dickens and on TV he is remembered from the miniseries Skipper Worse. Kolstad played in a number of musicals during his career, mainly at the Norwegian Theater where he was employed for over 30 years. He had a strong bass baritone voice.


Lasse Kolstad grew up on Frogner in Oslo as the brother of the actor Henki Kolstad and politician Knut Kolstad. In 1940 he was Russian president in Oslo, but the German invasion put a damper on the Russian celebration. He was married to actress Randi Kolstad in the years 1946–1955; then (from 1957) with actor Bab Christensen. Together they had the adopted son Lars Michael Kolstad (b. 1965), who is a director at the Norwegian Opera & Ballet. Kolstad died in 2012 after a long illness at Diakonhjemmet hospital in Oslo. He turned 90 years old.


Kolstad made his debut in 1943 at Trøndelag Teater, where he was employed until 1949. After that he was employed at Centralteatret 1949–1950, Edderkoppen 1950–1952, Riksteatret 1952–1956, Fjernsynsteatret 1965–1969 and at Det norske teatret in 1956–1965 and again from 1969 and until he retired in 1992. However, he participated on stage in a number of performances after that. Of the classics, one can mention the role of Caliban in Shakespeare's Storm, the title role in Macbeth and as Teramenes in Racine's Fedra. He has also played several pieces by Ibsen, including the title role in Peer Gynt (1962), Dr. Stockman in An Enemy of the People and wholesaler Werle in The Wild Duck. He also had several roles in the Norwegian Theatre's premiere of Emperors and Galileans, directed by Sam Beskow.

Musicals and shows

With his powerful and rich voice, he was one of the Norwegian Theatre's foremost forces in musical productions; his greatest successes include the title role in Zorba and the role of Tevje in Spellemann on the Roof (with 400 performances since 1968). The latter is his most famous role throughout his career and brought him the Critics Award in 1968. He had an extensive career at the Norwegian Theater with leading roles in a number of major musicals. In addition to Zorba and Spellemann on the roof, he had key roles such as Robert in Oh, mein Papa! (1958), Bruno and the sergeant in Tingel Tangel last night (1959, also on the EP from the performance with Astrid Folstad). He had further roles as Curly in Richard Rodgers and Hammerstein's Oklahoma! (1960), and as Gustav Snekkersveen in Alf Prøysens Trost i taklampa (1963). He has made about as much effort in the theatre's many cabarets and shows, as in Jacques Brels's Here Tonight and Cage Well in Paris (148 performances from 1975 and double LP), the Evert Taube performance As Long as the Ship Can Go (211 performances from 1978 and double-LP), Mikis Theodorakis performance Soon dawns a morning! (1982) and the Stephen Sondheim Cabaret Submit a Clown! (1984). In the theatre's new building, he participated in Cabaret Becaud, had his own solo performance on the main stage and a leading role in Bentein Baardson's production of the Twelve Shillings Opera. After a ten-year break, he made a comeback in 2002 in the Norwegian Theater's cavalcade Musical Musical, which was also shown on TV. This was his last appearance as an actor.


Kolstad's record career is largely linked to the musicals and cabaret performances, but he is also found with Robert Levin's orchestra (with Kristian Haugers and Gunnar Kaspersens) on A Little Ride on Dad's Knee and Kykeliky (1953). He participated together with, among others, Botten Soot and Sølvi Wang at Barna i barn (1973). The single "I have a girl" / "Will you greet at home" was released in the wake of Windjammer, and more nostalgically he sang "Christian Radich" / "Greetings from me at home" (1974). He also participated in several children's albums, including five Doffen albums (1950�)

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