Tuesday, 19 June 2012

Heritage Open Day at The Grand Theatre, Leeds

We spent the afternoon exploring The Grand Theatre and Opera House in Leeds.  The theatre opened its doors as part of the Heritage Open Day supported by The English Heritage.

We arrived in time to see Opera North perform some extracts from the new season's opera, The Adventures of Pinocchio, on the main staircases.  Afterwards, we visited The Howard Assembly Rooms where small scale concerts and performances are held and we admired the chandeliers of the Emerald Grand Hall.  The chandeliers have rainbow reflections when the sun shines.

We visited the Auditorium where we had an opportunity to sit in one of the royal boxes, where being seen was more important than seeing the performance and this was a rare opportunity for us to sit in one because of the unobtainable and expensive tickets usually reserved for the boxes.  We also visited different parts of the Auditorium and took a lot of photos which is great because photography is usually forbidden.

We joined the backstage trail where we visited the prompt corner and had a chat with the stage managers who usually co-ordinate everything on performance evenings,  I just don't envy the responsibility they have in their jobs!  We then passed the dressing rooms onto the dock door and scenery bridge where the set and scenery are transported to the doors.

We ascended up to the paint frame and OP Fly Floor where 'fly' pieces of scenery are pulled during change of scenes in performances.  It used to be done manually but this has been replaced with a computerised filing system.
I was glad of the opportunity to look around The Grand and visit backstage - a rare opportunity!

It was this theatre that gave me the love for the arts especially opera and musical theatre!!!! So The Grand will always be special to me!

You can see my photos in the Heritage Open Days Album (Will advise destination link soon)

Looking forward to the next Heritage Open Day!

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