introducing brockman hall for opera

Rice University showcases stunning new opera hall with a score of events

Rice University debuts stunning new opera hall with a score of events

Rice Brockman Hall for Opera
Rice's new Brockman Hall for Opera houses a European-style theater. Photo courtesy of Rice University

Opera fans, take note: The Ivy League of the South has announced the opening of the city’s newest music and performing arts venue.

Rice University’s Shepherd School of Music will debut its new Brockman Hall for Opera in April, complete with a series of corresponding public events. The 84,000-square-foot Brockman Hall for Opera, the Alice Pratt Brown Hall, and their adjoining plaza comprise the Brockman Music and Performing Arts Center.

The venue is also home to The Morrison Theater — a three-tiered, 600-seat, European-style theater boasting an orchestra pit for 70 musicians. It is designed specifically for young singers to project their voices without overextending themselves and is the first theater with such a configuration among U.S. universities and conservatories, per a press release.

Fans are invited to a sneak peek of Brockman Hall, as well as a behind-the-scenes look of the staging of an opera on April 9. Here, visitors can enjoy live performances, watch demonstrations, tour dressing rooms and rehearsal spaces, learn about the venue’s acoustics, and even dress as opera singers and pose for photos on the stage of the hall’s Lucian and Nancy Morrison Theater, per a release.

For its inaugural opera event, the Shepherd School presents Mozart’s Don Giovanni at 7: 30 pm April 14 and 16 —  the first opera performed for the public in the new building. As fans no doubt know, the comedic opera is considered one of Mozart’s crowning achievements and centers on a young playboy who charts the course of his own death in a single day.

Tickets for this inaugural performance are $75 for preferred seating and one complimentary beverage, $40 for general admission, $5 for Rice students, and free for Shepherd School students. Tickets and more information can be found here.

To formally christen the space, the Shepherd School will host “A Celebration for Brockman Hall for Opera,” at 8 pm on April 22. The event features a cocktail reception with gourmet bites and a performance of opera. Details and tickets can be found here.

Brockman Hall was designed by Allan Greenberg Architect LLC, according to a press release. With a special focus on acoustics, the hall features designs by Fisher Dachs Associates and acoustic consultants Threshold Acoustics, which collaborated with Greenberg on the design of the theater and orchestra pit. Towards that end, the new facility is one to be seen — and heard.

“We really want the people of Houston to come out and experience this amazing new facility for themselves,” said Shepherd School dean Matthew Loden, in a statement.