Grand Opera House
When the Grand Opera House opened its doors on 23 December 1895, it was an instant success. Crowds flocked to see a great variety of entertainment, including opera, drama, pantomime, circus, and the latest London comedy or musical.
Since then it has been much loved by generations of people and has given a stage to many great names in the world of entertainment. In 1963 Luciano Pavorotti [sic] made his UK debut as Lieutenant Pinkerton in Madam[e] Butterfly.
Designed by the leading theatre architect, Frank Matcham, the Grand Opera House is a glorious expression of the skills of Victorian architects, painters and craftsmen. A distinctly Indian theme is evident in its auditorium, with elephants' heads and intricate plasterwork on the front of its two balconies, all richly decorated with gold leaf. There is a delightful range of 'onion-domed' boxes on either side of the proscenium arch.
It wasn't always so. This beautiful national treasure was used as a cinema for over 20 years from 1950, a role for which it was patently unsuitable and at one time was under threat of becoming a bowling alley. The building was closed in 1972, but following
In 1975 the Arts Council commissioned Architect Robert McInstry to prepare a scheme for the complete restoration of the Opera House which took place from 1976 to re-opening on 15 September 1980. The building suffered bomb damage in 1991 and 1993, which was swiftly repaired.
The Grand Opera House is owned and managed by the Grand Opera House Trust, which, in 2005, started a building programme to add modern foyers and back-stage facilities, ensuring the future of the Opera House for decades to come. Today the Grand Opera House continues to present a programme of the very best in live theatrical performances and plays host to companies from around the world.
Erected by the City of Belfast.
Topics. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: Architecture • Arts, Letters, Music • Entertainment • Man-Made Features. A significant historical date for this entry is December 23, 1895.
Location. 54° 35.715′ N, 5° 56.087′ W. Marker is in Belfast, Northern Ireland. Marker is at the intersection of Great Victoria Street (Northern Ireland Route A1) and Glengall Street, on the left when traveling north on Great Victoria Street. Touch for map
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Crown Bar (within shouting distance of this marker); Howard Street (within shouting distance of this marker); Great Victoria Street Station (about 90 meters away, measured in a direct line); Presbyterian Assembly Building (about 90 meters away); Monument to the Unknown Woman Worker (about 90 meters away); Lord Kelvin OM (about 150 meters away); Great Victoria Street (about 210 meters away); Wellington Place (about 210 meters away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Belfast.
Credits. This page was last revised on August 1, 2021. It was originally submitted on May 20, 2019, by William Fischer, Jr. of Scranton, Pennsylvania. This page has been viewed 97 times since then and 9 times this year. Photos: 1. submitted on May 20, 2019, by William Fischer, Jr. of Scranton, Pennsylvania. 2. submitted on May 13, 2019, by William Fischer, Jr. of Scranton, Pennsylvania. 3, 4, 5. submitted on May 20, 2019, by William Fischer, Jr. of Scranton, Pennsylvania.