Manchester Opera House

Last updated
Manchester Opera House
Opera House, Manchester.jpg
Address3 Quay Street
Manchester
England
Coordinates 53°28′44″N2°15′05″W / 53.47889°N 2.25139°W / 53.47889; -2.25139 Coordinates: 53°28′44″N2°15′05″W / 53.47889°N 2.25139°W / 53.47889; -2.25139
Owner Ambassador Theatre Group
TypeTouring theatre
Capacity 1,920
Construction
Opened1912
Architect Richardson & Gill with Farquarson
Website
www.manchesteroperahouse.org.uk

The Opera House in Quay Street, Manchester, England, is a 1,920-seater commercial touring theatre that plays host to touring musicals, ballet, concerts and a Christmas pantomime. It is a Grade II listed building. The Opera House is one of the main theatres in Manchester, England. The Opera House and its sister theatre the Palace Theatre, Manchester on Oxford Street are operated by the same parent company, Ambassador Theatre Group.

Quay Street

Quay Street is a street in the city centre of Manchester, England. The street, designated the A34, continues Peter Street westwards towards the River Irwell and Salford. It is the northern boundary of Spinningfields, the city's business district and Castlefield, the historical area of the city lies to the south. Quay Street was created in the 18th century for access to a quay on the river and is lined by several listed buildings.

Manchester City and metropolitan borough in England

Manchester is a city and metropolitan borough in Greater Manchester, England. With a population of 545,500 (2017) it is the sixth largest city in the United Kingdom. It is fringed by the Cheshire Plain to the south, the Pennines to the north and east, and an arc of towns with which it forms a continuous conurbation. The local authority is Manchester City Council.

Musical theatre Stage work that combines songs, music, spoken dialogue, acting, and dance

Musical theatre is a form of theatrical performance that combines songs, spoken dialogue, acting and dance. The story and emotional content of a musical – humor, pathos, love, anger – are communicated through words, music, movement and technical aspects of the entertainment as an integrated whole. Although musical theatre overlaps with other theatrical forms like opera and dance, it may be distinguished by the equal importance given to the music as compared with the dialogue, movement and other elements. Since the early 20th century, musical theatre stage works have generally been called, simply, musicals.

Contents

History

The theatre opened as the New Theatre in 1912, renamed the New Queen’s Theatre in 1915 and as the Opera House in 1920 when it came under the wing of John Hart and his associates of United Theatres Ltd. In 1931 it was bought by, and prospered under, Howard & Wyndham Ltd [1] which had been formed at the Theatre Royal, Glasgow [2] [3] in 1895 by Michael Simons [4] [ circular reference ]. The group`s managing director A Stewart Cruikshank, headquartered at the group's headquarters in the King's Theatre, Edinburgh was joined on the board by Charles B Cochrane who now became a visiting producer at the Opera House, premiering numerous musicals and revues. The theatre staged the full range of plays, musicals, opera, and pantomime. [5]

Howard & Wyndham Ltd was a theatre owning, production and management company of John B. Howard and Frederick W. P. Wyndham, founded in Glasgow in 1895, and which became the largest of its type in Britain. The company continued well into the 20th century; its theatres being eventually sold in the 1960s, and the shareholding coming under American control.

It closed in 1979 and for five years was a bingo hall. The Palace Trust acquired it in 1984 and returned it to a theatre. In 1990 it was acquired by Apollo Leisure and staged large-scale musicals. [6]

Architecture

Opera House, Manchester Manchester Opera House 1.jpg
Opera House, Manchester

The theatre has a rectangular plan and is built of stuccoed brick with a slate roof. Its symmetrical fifteen-bay facade is in the Classical style with a five-bay centre with fluted Ionic columns. Above the three central bays is a relief of a horse-drawn chariot within a semi-circular arch. The gable has a moulded cornice on brackets. The entrance canopy is a 20th-century addition. [7]

Stucco material made of aggregates, a binder, and water

Stucco or render is a construction material made of aggregates, a binder, and water. Stucco is applied wet and hardens to a very dense solid. It is used as a decorative coating for walls and ceilings, and as a sculptural and artistic material in architecture. Stucco may be used to cover less visually appealing construction materials, such as metal, concrete, cinder block, or clay brick and adobe.

Facade Exterior side of a building, usually the front but not always

A facade is generally one exterior side of a building, usually the front. It is a foreign loan word from the French façade, which means "frontage" or "face".

Classical architecture Architectural style

Classical architecture usually denotes architecture which is more or less consciously derived from the principles of Greek and Roman architecture of classical antiquity, or sometimes even more specifically, from the works of Vitruvius. Different styles of classical architecture have arguably existed since the Carolingian Renaissance, and prominently since the Italian Renaissance. Although classical styles of architecture can vary greatly, they can in general all be said to draw on a common "vocabulary" of decorative and constructive elements. In much of the Western world, different classical architectural styles have dominated the history of architecture from the Renaissance until the second world war, though it continues to inform many architects to this day.

The auditorium has two curved cantilevered balconies with large overhangs each holding 500 seats. Either side of the stage are stacked boxes between pairs of fluted Corinthian columns. The high proscenium arch is decorated with a circular medallion flanked by gryphons. The high ceiling above the auditorium takes the form of a coffered segmental tunnel vault. [6]

Auditorium A room built to enable an audience to hear and watch performances

An auditorium is a room built to enable an audience to hear and watch performances. For movie theatres, the number of auditoria is expressed as the number of screens. Auditoria can be found in entertainment venues, community halls, and theaters, and may be used for rehearsal, presentation, performing arts productions, or as a learning space.

Cantilever beam anchored at only one end

A cantilever is a rigid structural element, such as a beam or a plate, anchored at one end to a support from which it protrudes; this connection could also be perpendicular to a flat, vertical surface such as a wall. Cantilevers can also be constructed with trusses or slabs. When subjected to a structural load, the cantilever carries the load to the support where it is forced against by a moment and shear stress.

Box (theatre) seating area in a theater

In theater, a box is a small, separated seating area in the auditorium or audience for a limited number of people for private viewing of a performance or event.

The stage is 42 feet deep and 37 feet wide. The orchestra pit holds 80 musicians. The theatre has 1,920 seats. [6] The theatre was redecorated in March 2011 keeping the green and gold colour scheme of the auditorium unchanged.

Productions

The Opera House hosted the 1958 European premiere of West Side Story and the British regional premiere of Andrew Lloyd Webber's musical The Phantom of the Opera with a production that opened in 1993 and ran to 1995, an exceptional run for a regional production. The Opera House was the venue for a stage show, Gorillaz' Demon Days Live.

Manchester Opera House also saw the premiere of Never Forget , the Take That musical. The cast included Tim Driesen, who played the role of Adrian Banks/Mark Owen. The musical has had both of its UK tours premiere at the Manchester Opera House.

The world premiere of Ghost the Musical was held at the theatre from March–May 2011 before it transferred to London's West End. The UK premiere of the Dolly Parton musical 9 to 5 began its UK tour at the theatre on 12 October 2012. Other productions to receive their world premiere at the Opera House include Bat Out of Hell which premiered in February 2017, and & Juliet, which is set to receive it's world premiere in September 2019. [8]

See also

Related Research Articles

Royal Opera House opera house and major performing arts venue in Covent Garden, central London

The Royal Opera House (ROH) is an opera house and major performing arts venue in Covent Garden, central London. The large building is often referred to as simply "Covent Garden", after a previous use of the site of the opera house's original construction in 1732. It is the home of The Royal Opera, The Royal Ballet, and the Orchestra of the Royal Opera House. Originally called the Theatre Royal, it served primarily as a playhouse for the first hundred years of its history. In 1734, the first ballet was presented. A year later, Handel's first season of operas began. Many of his operas and oratorios were specifically written for Covent Garden and had their premieres there.

London Coliseum theatre in London, home to the English National Opera

The London Coliseum is a theatre in St Martin's Lane, Westminster, built as one of London's largest and most luxurious "family" variety theatres. Opened on 24 December 1904 as the London Coliseum Theatre of Varieties, it was designed by the theatrical architect Frank Matcham for the impresario Oswald Stoll. Their ambition was to build the largest and finest music hall, described as the "people's palace of entertainment" of its age.

Royal Court Theatre, Liverpool theatre in Liverpool, England

The Royal Court Theatre is a theatre located at 1 Roe Street, Liverpool, England. It was built in 1938 in an Art Deco style.

Theatre Royal, Newcastle theatre in Newcastle upon Tyne, England

The Theatre Royal is a historic theatre, a Grade I listed building situated on Grey Street in Newcastle upon Tyne.

Palace Theatre, Manchester theatre in Manchester, England

The Palace Theatre, Manchester, is one of the main theatres in Manchester, England. It is situated on Oxford Street, on the north-east corner of the intersection with Whitworth Street. The Palace and its sister theatre the Opera House on Quay Street are operated by the same parent company, Ambassador Theatre Group. The original capacity of 3,675 has been reduced to its current 1,955.

Pavilion Theatre (Glasgow) theatre in Glasgow, Scotland

The Pavilion Theatre is a theatre in Glasgow located on Renfield Street.

Bristol Hippodrome theatre in Bristol, England

The Bristol Hippodrome is a theatre located in The Centre, Bristol, England, United Kingdom with seating on three levels giving a capacity of 1,951. It frequently features shows from London's West End when they tour the UK, as well as regular visits by Welsh National Opera and an annual pantomime.

Citizens Theatre theatre in Glasgow, Scotland

The Citizens Theatre, in what was the Royal Princess's Theatre, is the creation of James Bridie and is based in Glasgow, Scotland as a principal producing theatre. The theatre includes a 500-seat Main Auditorium, and two studio theatres, the Circle Studio and the Stalls Studio.

His Majestys Theatre, Aberdeen theatre in Aberdeen, Scotland

His Majesty's Theatre in Aberdeen is the largest theatre in north-east Scotland, seating more than 1,400. The theatre is sited on Rosemount Viaduct, opposite the city's Union Terrace Gardens. It was designed by Frank Matcham and opened in 1906. On its centenary in 2006, the theatre was "twinned" with His Majesty's Theatre in Perth, Western Australia.

Theatre Royal, Glasgow theatre in Glasgow, Scotland

The Theatre Royal is owned by Scottish Opera and is the oldest theatre in Glasgow and the longest running in Scotland. Located at 282 Hope Street, its front door was originally round the corner in Cowcaddens Street. It currently accommodates 1,541 people. The theatre opened in 1867, adopting the name Theatre Royal two years later. It is also the birthplace of Howard & Wyndham Ltd, owners and managers of theatres in Scotland and England until the 1970s, created by its chairman Baillie Michael Simons in 1895. It was Simons who as a cultural entrepreneur of his day also promoted the building of Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum and Glasgow's International Exhibitions of 1888 and 1901.

Grand Theatre, Leeds theatre in Leeds, England

The Grand Theatre, also known as Leeds Grand Theatre and Leeds Grand Theatre and Opera House, is a theatre and opera house in Briggate, Leeds, West Yorkshire, England. It seats approximately 1,500 people.

Kings Theatre, Glasgow theatre in Glasgow, Scotland

The King's Theatre is located in Glasgow, Scotland. It was built for Howard & Wyndham Ltd under its chairman Baillie Michael Simons as a sister theatre of their Theatre Royal in the city and was designed by Frank Matcham, opening in 1904. The theatre is primarily a receiving house for touring musicals, dance, comedy and circus-type performances. The theatre also provides a prominent stage for local amateur productions. The King's Theatre also stages an annual pantomime, produced by First Family Entertainment

Bradford Alhambra theatre in Bradford, England

The Alhambra Theatre is a theatre in Bradford, West Yorkshire, England, named after the Alhambra palace in Granada, Spain, which was the place of residence of the Emir of the Emirate of Granada. It was built in 1913 at a cost of £20,000 for theatre impresario Francis Laidler, and opened on Wednesday 18 March 1914. In 1964, Bradford City Council bought the Alhambra for £78,900 and in 1974, it was designated a Grade II listed building. It underwent extensively refurbishment in 1986. Today it is a receiving house for large-scale touring theatre of all types and the main house seats 1,456.

Theatre Royal, Nottingham theatre in Nottingham, England

The Theatre Royal in Nottingham, England, is a venue in the heart of Nottingham City Centre and is owned by Nottingham City Council as part of a complex that also includes the city’s Royal Concert Hall. The Theatre Royal attracts major touring dramas, opera, ballet, West End musicals and an annual pantomime.

Kings Theatre, Edinburgh theatre in Edinburgh, Scotland

The King's Theatre was opened in 1906 and stands on a prominent site on Leven Street in Edinburgh. It is one of Scotland's historic and important theatres.

Glasgow Empire Theatre former theatre in Glasgow, Scotland

Glasgow Empire Theatre, known as the Glasgow Palace Empire until the early 1900s, was a major theatre in Glasgow, Scotland, which opened in 1897 on the site of the Gaiety Theatre at 31-35 Sauchiehall Street. It was one of the leading theatres in the UK chain of theatres owned and developed by Moss Empires under the chairmanship of Sir Edward Moss, who served his apprenticeship in Greenock and elsewhere.

The Metropole Theatre started as the Scotia and was built in 1862 at 116, Stockwell Street, Glasgow, Scotland. Built to the designs of architect Robert Black for James Baylis, who later built the Theatre Royal in the Cowcaddens area of the city, it opened as the Scotia Hall, holding over 3000 people, with stalls and two galleries, reputed to be the first purpose built commercial music-hall in Scotland. Due to fire in 1875 it was rebuilt to the designs of architects Campbell Douglas and James Sellars and renamed The Scotia Variety Theatre, claiming to be the largest and best variety company in Scotland.

The Theatre Royal in Dumfries, Scotland is the oldest working theatre in Scotland. The Theatre is owned by the Guild of Players who bought it in 1959, thereby saving it from demolition. The Guild's aim is to promote the tradition of live theatre in Dumfries. It is the venue for the Guild of Players' own productions and for performances from visiting companies. In addition it is used extensively as a venue for the Dumfries and Galloway Arts Festival, the Dumfries Music Festival and the Dumfries Musical Theatre Company.

James Baylis Irish/Scottish theatre impresario

James Baylis was a theatre entrepreneur and entertainment provider in 19th century Glasgow, where he originated music halls and theatres from the 1840s until his death in 1870. One of his major developments was the Theatre Royal, Glasgow which continues today and is owned by Scottish Opera.

References

  1. The Stage, 30th August 1931
  2. The Theatre Royal: Entertaining a Nation, by Graeme Smith, published 2008
  3. http://www.arthurlloyd.co.uk/Glasgow/TRHope.htm
  4. Theatre Royal, Glasgow
  5. http://www.arthurlloyd.co.uk/ManchesterTheatres/OperaHouseManchester.htm
  6. 1 2 3 Opera House (Manchester), The Theatres Trust, retrieved 17 April 2012
  7. Historic England. "The Opera House, Quay Street (1247470)". National Heritage List for England . Retrieved 17 April 2012.
  8. "& Juliet: First look at new pop musical by Max Martin".