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Manchester Opera House upgrade completed


Manchester Opera House - major upgrade
Manchester Opera House - major upgrade

A £2m project to restore the traditional windows and façade of the Grade II listed Manchester Opera House has been completed.

The work began a year ago and has included extensive repairs to the render, brickwork, windows and ironmongery fixings, alongside replacement of rainwater conduits to refresh the landmark’s façade, ensure a more historically-authentic exterior and safeguard the venue for the future.

The updates are part of a total £4.5m investment made across both the Opera House and its sister venue the Palace Theatre this financial year.

As well as the exterior refurbishment, a wide range of other work has been completed to maintain and upgrade the Opera House interior, including star dressing rooms, backstage and lounge areas, and toilets on every level. The Palace’s dimmer system and auditorium ventilation system have also been extensively upgraded. Both theatres have remained open throughout.

Robin Hawkes, theatre director at the Palace and Opera House said: “The Palace and Opera House have been jewels in the heart of Manchester’s cultural fabric for many generations, so I'm delighted we’ve been able to refresh the beautiful Edwardian exterior of the Opera House as part of a wider suite of works.” 

The project’s architect, Ian Edwards, said: ‘’It’s been a fulfilling project to work on and we hope that visitors to Manchester enjoy seeing the Opera House returned to its original splendour.’’

Originally named the New Theatre when it opened on Boxing Day in 1912, the Opera House has been through several iterations, being renamed the Opera House in 1920. It has also been used as a cinema during World War II, then a bingo hall, before being restored and reopened again as a theatre in 1984. 

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