Visit to New Opera House and Theater

I’ll have pics up later today, but in the meantime:

The council got to tour the Winspear Opera House and Wyly Theater today. Amazing. After seeing the models, and watching the exterior construction, it was exciting to tour the interiors of these buildings.

The opera has a great deal of seating, but they’ve created a very intimate house, so that the audience is very close to the performance. The panels on the front of the balcony seating has a wavy design, which is less aesthetic and more acoustical, to reflect the sound in the best way possible.

The theater was equally interesting. It’s completely transformable into whatever configuration the presentation calls for. The hydraulic stage can be reconfigured to provide a theater in the round, typical theater, raised or lowered audience seating. Very cool.

There was non-stop construction activity on the sites. The two venues, along with the outdoor Annette Straus Artist Square, cost $354 million to construct, with the private sector picking up 94% of the cost and the city 6%. This project would not have been possible without the Dallas Center for the Performing Arts, the non-profit that raised the private funds.

Once complete, we’ll have the largest contiguous arts district in the country. The venues will open in October.