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Why are so many opera houses being built?

no_form

Why? Who goes to the opera? It's expensive and Michael Bay hasn't written anything for it.

Maybe you've been a few times in your life, but who goes multiple times a year over the course of many years to justify building so many?

They are major show pieces and a killer project to design but they seem excessive in the amount built recently.

Tuxedo up!

 
Dec 9, 15 8:43 pm

Such as?

Only one that comes immediately to mind is the The National Taichung Theater by Toyo Ito...

Dec 9, 15 10:43 pm  · 
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no_form
Taichung
Guangzhou
Dallas
Oslo
Harbin
Dublin
Busan

All have or will have new opera houses dating back to 2008. Is opera really this popular across the world? What else are these buildings used for?
Dec 10, 15 12:43 am  · 
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archiwutm8

They're trying to build a new one in London using tax money...but they're cutting benefit budgets, transportation and education. Most of them are just tourist attractions, and who needs more museums? how many are being built every year?

Dec 10, 15 3:27 am  · 
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awaiting_deletion

everybody wants a Sydney....museums are so not trending

Dec 10, 15 7:19 am  · 
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Non Sequitur
Never been to an opera but I've stood outside the Paris one on a few occasions and wondered similar questions.

I would reconsider if Bay, or Taratino got into the opera business.
Dec 10, 15 7:58 am  · 
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archiwutm8

The one in Oslo is quite nice, I visited it in the summer. The white marble and stone blinded me.

Most of them aren't being used as a  single purpose "opera" house but rather a entertainment venue with music and theatre.

Dec 10, 15 8:12 am  · 
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Museums aren't popular simply because in terms of cultural consumption they are not as efficient as performance centers (Opera and Play Houses). 

You can gather the same number of culturally savvy people at an opening night performance as you can in a museum opening- perhaps more. But the difference is that Operas don't have storage issues. There's no need to provide a stable climate for a backdrop that will likely never be used again.  You can even expand your reach using simulcast without the burden of 

Look at MoMA and the Guggenheim. Both institutions are increasing their exhibition space to offset operational costs associated with collecting. whereas the the stage will always be a fixed dimension as will the scene shop.

Dec 10, 15 9:07 am  · 
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The economics of culture. Also explains NASCAR.

Dec 10, 15 9:35 am  · 
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Volunteer

"Opera House" is just a generic term for a performance venue: opera, plays, Hillary speeches, Trump speeches, musical groups of all kinds.

Dec 10, 15 9:36 am  · 
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archiwutm8

Aren't most of them now called cultural centres?

Dec 10, 15 10:33 am  · 
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no_form
Dorothy chandler pavilion is the opera house for LA but Disney concert hall is next door. What's the difference besides age?

Taichung is specifically for opera.

I don't think it's just a semantic difference. Is a culture center programmatically the same as an opera house?

Marc thanks for the insight on galleries vs performance spaces.
Dec 10, 15 10:46 am  · 
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Volunteer

The Sydney Opera House has seven venues, the largest being the Concert Hall which seats 2,679. Last year the Opera House hosted 3,000 separate events.

Dec 10, 15 11:35 am  · 
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gwharton

Go to a performance of La Boheme before you start hating on opera. It's a beautiful expression of high European culture.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jvby3s0I4jM

Dec 10, 15 11:36 am  · 
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JLC-1

Broadway musicals are just an "Americanization" of opera, evolving from a lower form such as vaudeville, and those get a huge number of spectators. It's only a story told with music and song. Can't really tell you the difference in venues. Some would say opera is more sophisticated.

Dec 10, 15 11:44 am  · 
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Opera companies got hit hard with the recession as their endowments shrunk, but now the money is back as the stock markets have risen as has the fortunes of the upper class who regularly donate, so one reason is they have more money now than a few years ago.

Opera also needs to keep up with the times and accommodate more and more technology and extravagance to keep people coming in. Plus concert patrons expect an ever increasing and centralized level of luxury amenities, gone are the days of arriving seeing the show going to a restaurant and then home, performing arts organizations are trying to capture as much revenue as possible and more pre and post performance program has to be added to performance venues in addition to services like secure parking and retail merchandising. Lots of existing venues are small and have no space to expand so new venues tend to become a viable solution.

Also people are fatter and need bigger seats

Over and OUT

Peter N

Dec 10, 15 12:54 pm  · 
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no_form

vaudeville would be great to revive.  at least there is a resurgence of burlesque in the US.  while i'm not a philistine nor a savant i would be happy to also see an opera.

Peter N - there's a general luxurization of the world.  most new housing across the world is devoted to luxury living, restaurants are artisanal fine dining, etc.  thanks for the insight on concert going.  

volunteer - Sydney is an old structure that does high volume from what you describe.  not that there is anything wrong with that.  but i'm focusing on these newer structures as they seem more aspirational in ambition as opposed to an organic response to a generally high level of culture across the globe.  or are these just a part of a tradition of being show pieces of whatever is fashionable at the time?  

Dec 10, 15 1:22 pm  · 
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quizzical

^ gwharton +1

Dec 10, 15 3:32 pm  · 
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citizen

Why are so many opera houses being built?

Because she ain't done yet.

Dec 10, 15 3:54 pm  · 
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citizen

^ (And, no, that's not a recent Madonna concert.)

Dec 10, 15 3:55 pm  · 
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sameolddoctor

Is that Zaha?

Dec 10, 15 6:07 pm  · 
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gwharton

^^^ OH SNAP

Dec 10, 15 6:58 pm  · 
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awaiting_deletion

enjoy!

Dec 10, 15 9:50 pm  · 
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no_form
Lol. Thanks Olaf.
Dec 10, 15 10:03 pm  · 
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Carrera

The word “opera” may be getting in the way as these types of theaters have many uses, yet it’s hard to believe that in the NASCAR world we live in that operas & symphonies are thriving, but depends on the cultural makeup of the location….did work on the Detroit Opera House and while it has many operas it is a very busy venue with a full calendar of Broadway Musicals, ballet, even comedy…."opera houses" by design are very versatile.

Dec 11, 15 12:57 am  · 
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18x32

"Classical" entertainment like opera, symphony, etc... attract huge crowds in China, which doesn't attach the "stuffiness" stigma to them. It's not really accurate to say that no one attends them. The three I've been to this year (in Europe) were all sold out, including standing-room.

But, yes, as others have said, a lot of the impetus to build is to move out of restrictive single concert halls so as to have more diverse and flexible performance spaces together under one roof, allowing aattractions that go beyond the opera audience.

Dec 11, 15 8:14 am  · 
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archiwutm8

Have you lot seen MAD's new opera house in Harbin?

> http://www.dezeen.com/2015/12/16/mad-sinuous-harbin-opera-house-completes-north-east-china/

 

Opinions?

Dec 16, 15 9:48 am  · 
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vado retro

we need to focus on poverty aesthetics.

Dec 16, 15 2:47 pm  · 
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Vado, please expand. I think (hope) I understand what you are saying, but want to be sure. 

Dec 16, 15 3:13 pm  · 
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gwharton

"poverty aesthetics"

e.g. wallowing in sh*t

Dec 16, 15 4:26 pm  · 
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vado retro

Poverty Aesthetics is a current trend in architectural research that focuses on urban interpretations of current conditions of the built environment of the colonized other . Themes include redlining, ghettoization, gentrification with an emphasis on the exploited and undervalued inhabitants and the phases of colonization viewed in a post structuralist slash franz fanonian viewpoint which exists for the most part to piss off neo liberal parametricists who question the validity of any architecture that not resembling george pal's martian space ships from the 1953 version of War of the Worlds.

Dec 17, 15 4:07 pm  · 
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Volunteer

 "Martian space ships from the 1953 version of War of the Worlds."

So THAT'S where parametricism comes from! I knew it looked vaguely familiar.

Dec 17, 15 4:40 pm  · 
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gwharton

"Poverty Aesthetics is a current trend in architectural research that focuses on urban interpretations of current conditions of the built environment of the colonized other . Themes include redlining, ghettoization, gentrification with an emphasis on the exploited and undervalued inhabitants and the phases of colonization viewed in a post structuralist slash franz fanonian viewpoint which exists for the most part to piss off neo liberal parametricists who question the validity of any architecture that not resembling george pal's martian space ships from the 1953 version of War of the Worlds."

So... what you're saying is it's just more meaningless academic word salad and intellectual wanking. This is as I suspected.

Dec 17, 15 9:23 pm  · 
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It seems to me to be a terrible and unsuccessful euphemism for poverty porn.

Dec 17, 15 9:58 pm  · 
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The Aesthetics of Decay: The Dangers of Fetishizing Faux-Poverty While Hiding Real Poverty

Lately, everything seems to be distressed. From clothes to furniture to Instagram filters, the prevailing aesthetic is one which has the sensibility of something old, something used. And even when things aren’t purposely made to look old or worn, there’s been an embrace of an almost reductive approach to fashion, most notably seen in the normcore trend (or faux-trend, depending on with whom you speak), which is, at best, an attempt to extinguish external signifiers of wealth, but is, at worst, a disdain-fueled jaunt into a less fashionably (and financially) privileged world. In effect, those who can most afford to dress—and live—any way they want are consciously emulating those who lack that freedom, while those who lack real economic freedom find themselves stuck in a situation wherein they are both the models for and the unwilling participants of a new aesthetic. 

BALMAIN distressed biker jeans $1,875.00

Dec 17, 15 10:37 pm  · 
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porn

Dec 17, 15 10:39 pm  · 
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vado retro

@ghwharton,,,maybe. I was just makin some shit up.

Dec 18, 15 7:29 am  · 
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awaiting_deletion

marc said porn....gwharton said intellectual wanking......carry on

Dec 18, 15 7:45 am  · 
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homme_du_jura

vado-retro's explanation the poverty aesthetic was quite clear to me. It's lots of post-colonial Marxist thinking that places a heavy emphasis on the aesthetic response of those left out globalism's transformation of the developing world. There's been a recent fascination for Brazilian favelas and Indian slums, especially in the way they emerge on their own almost organically. One could argue that the most recent Pritzker winners were beneficiaries of this trend in architectural academia.

Jan 29, 19 11:21 am  · 
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