Liverpool puts in claim for a waterfront opera house

Liverpool puts in claim for a waterfront opera house


norman lebrecht

November 04, 2015

The Echo has obtained details of a city plan to build an iconic building on the Mersey.

Report here.


sydney opera


  • Eddie Mars says:

    Of course, you’d, err, need an, err, opera company to give performances there, too…

    • Wurtfangler says:

      It’s Liverpool – they’ll just take the wheels off the Opera North trailer when they are next in town!

      • Eddie Mars says:

        Seems rather lavish to provide Opera North with a two-weeks-per-year venue? I somehow can’t see Gideon or Eric Pickles signing off on that. Nor Ian Dunkin’-Donuts either.

        Especially when there’s Petrenko and his band already in residence in Liverpool…. who might very easily branch out into providing more substantial opera coverage than ON’s fleeting concert visits at Philharmonic Hall….

        • bp1uk says:

          BTW, it’s WNO that tour to Liverpool, not Opera North. But audiences have been so grim there recently that this season’s total offering comprises two days of Sweeney Todd.

    • Anne63 says:

      Hit the nail on the head there. It seems they want “an iconic building” first and foremost.

      A deal with the ROH might make sense, putting Manchester’s nose out of joint, which might be the intention.

      As you say, they’d need an opera company, and preferably an audience as well.

      I see the article repeats the “£12 per head spend on culture in the south compared to £1.75 in the north” mantra without pointing out that London has a huge number of visitors which means that the N/S difference per attendance is much smaller. If Liverpool can attract people from Cheshire and further afield, it might be achievable.

      • Ellingtonia says:

        So, because the south gets more visitors than the north it should get around eight times more funding than the north?
        And of course us northerners would rather eat meat pies, race whippets and drink “mild” than aspire to other delightful cultural appreciations.
        I know it will come as a shock to you, but some of us up here enjoy Opera North doing Janacek, the Halle exploring Mahler as well as visiting the Yorkshire Sculpture Park and the glorious Yorkshire Dales…………..I think you need to get out a bit more love (as we say up north) and see what the north has to offer. There is life outside the “metropolitan bubble”………..try it some time!

        • Anne63 says:

          I’m already “up there”, and probably know the Dales better than you do.

        • Allen Woods says:

          ‘us northerners would rather eat meat pies, race whippets and drink “mild”’

          Well that’s very interesting and, if the opera house is built, I hope that the bar and restaurant take it into account. I also hope that whippets and racing pigeons (you left that out) are barred from the auditorium. However, I’m not sure what all this has to do with the wisdom of building a theatre with inevitably high running costs in a city without an existing opera company of any size (unlike Cardiff) and presumably, without an established audience for opera. And I mean 1500 – 2000 people, week in week out, not special occasions twice a year. I also hope that consideration is given to the impact on other venues and institutions.

          It’s not unreasonable to raise these matters and I note that Ann says quite clearly that it might be achievable. However, support in the Liverpool Echo seems pretty thin so far.

          ps: I believe that pies are quite popular in the south as well, particularly with mash.

  • Ann Nomynous says:

    Well, there’s already opera seria (Everton) and opera buffa (Liverpool FC) around in the town.

  • Gary Carpenter says:

    The European Opera Centre is already based in Liverpool. There may be a connection.

  • Doug says:

    In defense of Liverpool, I try to be aware of all the stuff happening here and the only warning I got of the last WNO production was when a lorry with their logo drove past me… on its way out of the city. Which was rather annoying.

    If they want to invest in classical music, though, I’d much rather they put more effort into producing concerts in the small concert room at St. George’s Hall.