Victorian Opera will be moving to a new home from mid 2018, the company has announced. Victorian Opera, which will become a Major Performing Arts company from 2019 (a recommendation of the 2016 National Opera Review), has taken over the lease of 29 Laurens Street, just a short walk from the current North Melbourne train station and in an area set to undergo significant urban renewal.
Artist’s impression of Victorian Opera’s brand new facility. Photo: supplied
The former commercial plasterboard warehouse will be transformed into a state-of-the-art facility designed by Rara Architecture, Principal Architect Wesley Spencer, that will see the company gain a second rehearsal studio, dedicated coaching rooms for artists, a green room, a music library, a multimedia suite for live-streaming and a performance space with a stage, lighting, tiered seating, a box office and audience facilities. The rehearsal and coaching studios have been designed to be acoustically isolated so they can be used simultaneously.
“Victorian Opera has been undertaking a comprehensive search for a new home for a number of years,” said the company’s Managing Director Andrew Snell. “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.”
Victorian Opera’s new rehearsal and performance space. Photo: supplied
Victorian Opera is currently based at Horti Hall – a heritage building that was once home to the Victorian Horticultural Society – in Carlton, where it has been based for the last 11 years. Space restrictions have forced the company to rent additional spaces for rehearsal when working on multiple productions, as well as spaces for the costume department and storing sets. The new premises will see the entire company under the one roof for the first time.
“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,” said Snell. “We look forward to welcoming artists, our many collaborators, valued audiences and supporters to our new home.”