Music Hall Renovation
We’re delighted to share with you some outstanding news about our beloved home, Music Hall.
On September 14, the Music Hall Revitalization Company (MHRC) announced that the project to restore and enhance Music Hall is moving forward. Completion is scheduled for the fall of 2017.
While construction is underway, we are excited to be moving into a wonderful performance space for opera: the Aronoff Center for the Arts. Best known as the home to performances by Broadway in Cincinnati, Cincinnati Ballet, and the Cincinnati Arts Association, the Aronoff, our temporary new home, will serve as a great setting for Cincinnati Opera’s mainstage performances during our 2016 and 2017 seasons. We have already conducted acoustical tests in the Procter & Gamble Hall at the Aronoff, and we are very pleased with the sound of unamplified voices in that space. We think you will be too. You might also recall past performances at the smaller Jarson-Kaplan Theater, including Opera Idol and Rise For Freedom: The John P. Parker Story. All of this adds up to an excellent short-term solution while we await Music Hall’s rebirth. You can read more about the Aronoff by clicking here.
Introducing Music Hall’s Design Team
It has been nearly 45 years since visionary philanthropists Patricia and J. Ralph Corbett led the last extensive renovation of Music Hall. For perspective, in those past four decades, dozens of new opera and concert halls have either been built or renovated in other major cities across the country. Our Music Hall also deserves an updating of its systems and audience amenities to remain a world-class performing arts facility for the community.
The public voice has also been critical to informing the direction and scope of this project. Feedback dates back to 2010 when MHRC was formed, and three public forums held in 2012 provided enormously valuable input into the process and the proposed renovations. Your input is always welcome; click here to share your thoughts.
Project leader 3CDC, working in close coordination with Music Hall’s resident companies, went through a rigorous request for proposals (RFP) process to ensure this undertaking had the right team to meet the goals of the project. This new design team includes: PWWG, one of the leading architecture firms in the nation in historic rehabilitation and adaptive reuse; design architect Martinez + Johnson, which specializes in performing arts venues; acoustician Akustiks, which brings renowned expertise, design, and careful planning around Music Hall’s acoustics; and theater planners and lighting designers from Schuler Shook.
The expertise behind this project is second to none, and the team has already demonstrated terrific chemistry and a collaborative spirit. The design team is also firmly committed to Music Hall retaining its outstanding acoustics and historic character, while enhancing the experience of every audience member.
There will be frequent and clear communications throughout this process. You can return to this page for information and updates, as well as to find links to ask questions, offer feedback to the design team, and make donations to this critically important project.
Cincinnati Opera at the Aronoff: 2016 & 2017
We are excited that the Aronoff Center for the Arts (650 Walnut Street, Downtown Cincinnati) will be our temporary, primary performance home during our 2016 and 2017 seasons. During the summer of 2016, our season will take place June 16-July 29 and will include four productions: Die Fledermaus (Johann Strauss, Jr.), Fidelio (Ludwig van Beethoven), and Tosca (Giacomo Puccini) in the 2,500-seat Procter & Gamble Hall, and the world premiere of Fellow Travelers (Gregory Spears and Greg Pierce) in the 400-seat Jarson-Kaplan Theater. (Details of our 2017 season will be announced at a later date.)
Opened in 1995, the Aronoff Center was designed with adjustable acoustic properties which equally support presentations of amplified performances, such as Broadway touring shows, and unamplified performances, such as opera. We’re delighted to be able to showcase the rich acoustics of both the Procter & Gamble Hall and the Jarson-Kaplan Theater next summer. The Aronoff Center is also one of the cultural anchors of Downtown Cincinnati and a key contributor to our region’s vitality and vibrancy. We look forward to being part of this positive energy, as well as enhancing our patrons’ opera-going experience through new partnerships with nearby hotels, restaurants, retailers, and cultural attractions.
Subscribers and donors receive seating priority
Our loyal subscribers and donors will receive seating priority at the Aronoff Center, with opportunities to attend “Meet Your Seat” events in the new spaces and to work directly with Cincinnati Opera’s customer service team to find the seats that best meet his/her needs. Those who continuously subscribe between the 2016 season at the Aronoff through our return to Music Hall in 2018 will continue to receive priority seating in both venues.
For all of our audience members, we are committed to making the transition to our temporary home as smooth as possible. We will work hard to provide the best possible service leading up to the transition and beyond.
The excitement is building!
We know getting this enormous project off the ground has not been easy, and strong support from throughout the community has been vitally important in getting us to this point. Music Hall is an iconic Cincinnati treasure, and we are grateful to the individual donors, companies, foundations, 3CDC, the Cultural Facilities Task Force (led by Cincinnati Opera President Murray Sinclaire, Jr.), the City of Cincinnati, and the State of Ohio for making this critically important project a reality. And through it all has been the steadfast leadership of Otto Budig and the Music Hall Revitalization Company.
Everyone involved with this project is committed to a vibrant and historic Music Hall that continues to serve our community for generations to come with a diverse array of extraordinary performances and events.
We’ll have more to share in the coming weeks and months. Thank you in advance for your continued support, and we look forward to seeing you at the Aronoff next summer!
Patricia K. Beggs
The Harry Fath General Director and CEO
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