Old but new

The architects for the restoration of the Oamaru Opera House were Williams Ross  of Melbourne, a firm which has specialised in theatres.

One of the partners, Virginia Ross, has a very personal link with the project. She was brought up in Oamaru and her family were involved with the arts in the town. She recalled one Operatic Society performance in the Opera House when her father was in the cast, her mother and brother in the orchestra and her grandfather helped in the front of the house.

The restoration retained as much of possible of the old building, its fittings and character and the links with the past have been carried through in the decor.

In the Empire Room, for example, features this floor-to-ceiling representation of Britannia, taken from the programme for a World War I fund raising concert.


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