The Esplanade Opera House is one of Singapore’s most recognizable icons. It is also one of the most renowned and active art centers in the world, as it hosts some three thousand performances each year. If you want to know more about this extraordinary building, do not hesitate to continue reading.
History of the Esplanade Opera House
In 1989, a report revealed a lack of suitable venues in Singapore for performing arts performance. And it is that the existing ones, such as the Victoria Theater, lacked the capacity to host large performances that needed numerous seats or a larger stage.
Thus, in 1992 planning began for the current Teatro Ópera Esplanadewhich did not begin construction until four years later, in 1996. For this construction, which lasted until 2001, no less than six hundred million Singaporean dollars were invested.
The Esplanade Opera House was finally opened in 2002 by the then President of Singapore Sellapan Ramanathan, better known as SR Nathan. Since then, the building has hosted numerous performances.
“The opera explains life and all that it implies: love, hate and passion.”
Layout of the Opera Esplanade Theater
The Opera Esplanade Theater is made up of two large rooms: a 2,000-seat theater and a 1,600-seat concert hall. In the enclosure we can also find several smaller studios, an open-air theater and even a shopping center.
The main theater follows the horseshoe pattern of the operas of Italy. Meanwhile, the outdoor theater has a privileged location facing the sea and hosts, especially, theater performances and rock concerts. Likewise, the shows that are held on weekends can be seen for free.
For its part, the concert hall offers a very functional look, so it is not surprising that it is one of the best designed acoustically speaking. In fact, only five stages on the planet reach its level. It also stands out, among other things, for housing a Klais Orgelbau pipe organ.
AEsplanade Opera House architecture
The construction is formed by two huge domes in which more than seven thousand aluminum panels are assembled, which glow at night due to the lighting inside. A show more than recommended. In addition, they are placed in such a way as to guarantee the maximum possible natural lighting during the day.
As a curiosity, the peculiar shape of the domes has given rise to the inhabitants of Singapore nickname the theater with the name of durian, which is a famous local fruit that cannot exactly boast of having a very pleasant aroma. They also compare it to kitchen strainers, hedgehogs, or even bug eyes.
The entire design of the Teatro Ópera Esplanade fell to two architecture firms that worked together. And although his work was not exempt from controversy, the truth is that today the building has managed to forge a great reputationbeing compared to the popular Sydney Opera House.
Useful information for visiting the Esplanade Opera House
Therefore, the Esplanade Opera House is a mandatory stop for those traveling to Singapore. The options range from seeing a show to enjoying the views of Marina Bay from the Esplanade shopping center or from the boardwalk on which the building is located.
Getting to it is very simple. One possibility is to take the subway and follow the green and red lines to the City Hall stop, which is a ten minute walk from the place. You can also opt for one of the many public buses (36, 56, 70, 75, 77, 97, 106, 111, 133, 162, 171, 195, 502, 857, 960 or 961).
Secondly, It can be used to visit other nearby places of interest, such as the Merlion park, where the statue that gives it its name is located, half fish and half lion; the Raffles Hotel, maximum exponent of the colonial era of Singapore; the Boat Quay area; or the Singapore Flyer, a 165 meter Ferris wheel.