Grand Theatre, Leeds
|Address||46 New Briggate
Leeds, LS1 6NZ
|Owner||Leeds Grand Theatre and Opera House Ltd
Registered charity 500408
|Designation||listed building Grade II*|
Home of Opera North
The Grand Theatre (also known as Leeds Grand Theatre and Leeds Grand Theatre and Opera House) is a theatre and Opera house in the centre of Leeds, West Yorkshire, England. It was designed by James Robinson Watson, chief assistant in the office of Leeds-based architect George Corson, and opened on 18 November 1878. The exterior is in a mixture of Romanesque and Scottish baronial styles, while the interior has such Gothic motifs as fan-vaulting and clustered columns. The theatre is a Grade II* listed building. It seats approximately 1,500 people.
The theatre closed at the end of May 2005 for a major refurbishment, entitled transformation, and reopened on 7 October 2006 with a production of Verdi's Rigoletto. The Stalls area was completely re-seated and re-raked, the orchestra-pit enlarged, air-conditioning installed, backstage technical facilities dramatically improved, and Opera North now has an Opera Centre to the south of the theatre, accessible via a bridge and at street-level. The Centre includes two new stage-sized rehearsal spaces and increased office space. The cost of the refurbishment has been estimated at £31.5 million.
A second phase of transformation included structural improvements and further refurbishment of the theatre, and also the restoration of the Assembly Rooms, a forgotten area on the first floor of the building. The Assembly Rooms opened in 1879 and functioned as the Plaza Cinema between 1912 and 1978 and subsequently as a rehearsal room for Opera North. With restoration now complete, the theatre has a second performance space, the Howard Assembly Room, which is used for recitals, concerts, chamber operas, experimental and educational work, and other events for which the main theatre is unsuitable.
- Linstrum, Derek (1978). West Yorkshire Architects and Architecture. Lund Humphries Publishers. ISBN 0-85331-410-1.
- Lennon, Patricia; Joy, David (2006). Grand Memories: The Life and Times of the Grand Theatre and Opera House, Leeds. Ilkley: Great Northern Books. ISBN 1-905080-20-4.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Grand Theatre, Leeds.|
- Grand Theatre website
- Howard Assembly Room website
- Leeds City Council page on the theatre
- English Heritage. "Details from listed building database (466101)". Images of England.
- Monument No. 53018. PastScape. English Heritage.
- Charity Commission record
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