Four years after closing its doors for major renovation works, a 152-year-old Singaporean landmark has reopened for business.
Home to Singapore Symphony Orchestra, the elegant Victoria Theatre and Concert Hall has benefited from a SGD158m (€96.1m) refurbishment.
Victoria Concert Hall (formerly Victoria Memorial Hall) was originally built between 1902 and 1905 in honour of Queen Victoria, to mark her death in 1901, closely followed by the redevelopment of the former town hall as a theatre. Established in 1862, and granted National Monument status in 1992, the buildings once served as a makeshift hospital during World War Two and as a venue for war crime trials in 1947.
Said Lawrence Wong at the Ministry for Culture, Community and Youth: ‘The grand dames of Singapore’s performing arts scene, the Victoria Theatre and Concert Hall, are places which are rich in history and hold a special place in the hearts of all Singaporeans. Now that this national monument has been beautifully restored, I am sure many performing groups are looking forward to staging their best works here.’
Contractors on the project included award-winning W-Architects Ltd and acoustic and theatre consultants Arup Singapore Ltd, who created a full brief to improve the technical capabilities of the two buildings, whilst sympathetically bringing original features back to life.
Groups to have performed at the newly redeveloped venue include Singapore Symphony Orchestra, Apsaras Arts, Dance Ensemble Singapore, I Theatre, Nam Hwa Opera, The Philharmonic Winds, and T’ang Quartet who appeared at free performances held over the opening weekend last month.
The celebration, organised by National Arts Council, and supported by venue manager The Esplanade Co Ltd, attracted more than 25,000 visitors.
Read the full story in issue 15 of International Arts Manager.