Just a short walk from the current North Melbourne train station, Victorian Opera has secured a new home in West Melbourne – a former commercial plasterboard warehouse set to be transformed into a state-of-the-art facility.
“Victorian Opera has been undertaking a comprehensive search for a new home for a number of years,” said Andrew Snell, Managing Director Victorian Opera. “I am thrilled that we’ve now found this location that accommodates the multi-faceted nature of our company. It is large enough to fit these needs under the one roof as well as a performance space for the public.”
“This new facility for Victorian Opera is also a new facility for the arts in Melbourne, that continues to build on our company’s proud history of collaboration with other companies. We look forward to welcoming artists, our many collaborators, valued audiences and supporters, to our new home.”
Designed by Rara Architecture, Principal Architect Wesley Spencer has partnered with Victorian Opera to design a fit-for-purpose building for a 21st century opera company. The entire building has been acoustically designed to ensure multiple rehearsals, coachings and administrative work can occur simultaneously without disruption.
The new building will see Victorian Opera gain a second rehearsal studio, dedicated coaching rooms for artists, an artist green room, a music library, a multimedia suite for live streaming, as well as a performance space with a stage, lighting, tiered seating, a box office, and audience facilities.
With Victorian Opera becoming a Major Performing Arts (MPA) company from 2019, this custom-built home will future-proof the company ahead of a period of significant growth. Currently based at Horti Hall in Carlton, Victorian Opera has long outgrown the space limitations of the heritage building that was once home to the Victorian Horticultural Society.
The current space restrictions require the company to rent additional spaces throughout Melbourne for Victorian Opera’s costume department, set storage and secondary rehearsal spaces during periods when multiple productions are bound for the stage. The move into this fit-for-purpose building will allow Victorian Opera to unite all company activities under one roof.
Victorian Opera’s new Laurens Street address is within a major growth area planned as a site for a new Metro Tunnel station, North Melbourne Station (Arden), in future years. The area will undergo significant urban renewal creating a combined residential, commercial and retail precinct. Reputed for its commitment to innovation and accessibility, Victorian Opera is excited to be part of this new development area.
The move to the new facility is expected to occur in mid-2018. For more information, visit: www.victorianopera.com.au for details.
Image: Artist Impression of Victorian Opera’s New Building Foyer (supplied)