After a $135.8 million redevelopment, Arts Centre Melbourne re-opened Hamer Hall last week and almost 50,000 people have experienced the state of the art facilities so far.
Four days of opening celebrations, including two Opening Concerts, have been an extraordinary success according to the Premier of Victoria and Minister for the Arts Ted Baillieu.
“We have enjoyed outstanding concerts and fantastic free activities right across Arts Centre Melbourne, and we are delighted that 50,000 Victorians have turned up in droves to see the magnificent makeover of our wonderful hall,” said Mr Baillieu.
Canadian songstress k.d. lang headlined the opening concerts which also included performances from West End and Broadway star Caroline O’Connor, local hero Eddie Perfect (who performed two brand new songs written specifically for the event), New York-based soprano Rachelle Durkin, elder statesmen Archie Roach and Jack Charles, indie singer Lior and many more.
Half of the available tickets for each of the two concerts were allocated to a Victoria-wide public ballot which was established to ensure every Victorian had the opportunity to be in the audience at one of celebratory concerts.
Hamer Hall’s much anticipated facelift includes a revitalised auditorium boasting improved acoustics, air conditioning, lighting, cutting-edge staging systems and technology and new seating to enable audiences to experience a superior live performance experience are all part of the $135.8 million refurbishment.
The upgrade extends to Hamer Hall’s back stage facilities, including new technical and staging features which have improved the experience of performers and increased the range of performances that can now be staged at the venue.
“We have been overwhelmed by the enthusiasm of Victorians over the past four days to be part of the Hamer Hall opening celebrations”, said Arts Centre Melbourne Chief Executive Judith Isherwood.
“And we are even more delighted that they love the changes as much as we do. Their response has made all the planning by so many people and all of the dust and rubble of the past two years well and truly worth it,” she said.
Hamer Hall is set to become Australia’s premier concert hall, and the musical celebrations will continue this Tuesday with a screening of The Qatsi Trilogy performed live by Philip Glass and The Philip Glass Ensemble, the return of Melbourne Symphony Orchestra, the Czech Philharmonic Orchestra, Cape Town Opera, Nitin Sawhney and much more.