Rice University raises funds for new music, opera building

Rice University raises funds for new music, opera building | Courtesy of Shutterstock
Rice University's Shepherd School of Music is currently working to complete a funding initiative that would allow the school to begin construction on a new music and opera building beginning in September 2017.

If finalized, the university hopes to see the new building open for use in July 2020.

“The center will offer premium performance space for opera, chamber orchestra, chamber music and theater; meet the growing need for rehearsal and practice space; and provide a hallmark venue to attract and host high-profile speakers," Shepherd School Dean Robert Yekovich said.

The music and opera building would be connected to Alice Pratt Brown Hall -- which is the Shepherd School's current facility -- and the combined area will serve as Rice's Music and Performing Arts Center.

Designed by Allan Greenberg Architect LLC, it will be an 84,000-square-foot facility with seating for 600 audience members and an orchestra pit for 70 musicians.

“The opera house is a visual overture to prepare the audience to enter into the magical world conjured by the music, the story and the theatrical setting of the opera,” Allan Greenberg, principal designer for the project, said. “It facilitates a journey into the mind of the composer, in which the human voice gives breath to a living fantasy.”

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