|The refurbished Victoria Theatre and Concert Hall. Jul 2014.|
Visit the Victoria Theatre and Concert Hall this weekend and witness a significant milestone for the arts and cultural community in Singapore. After a four-year refurbishment and redevelopment, the Victoria Theatre and Concert Hall is opening its doors once again. During the special Open House weekend on 19 and 20 July 2014, the general public can look forward to free performances and guided tour. The Open House will be a good opportunity to catch a sneak preview of this national monument. For more information, please visit www.vtvch.com
|Victoria Theatre and Concert Hall. Taken in Mar 2005.|
Different people would have different memories of the Victoria Theatre and Concert Hall. Some remember it as place where they have registered for their ABRSM exams. Others remember it as a performing arts venue. Some remember it as a place where art exhibitions were held. I know of friends who were previously members of the Singapore National Youth Orchestra who have spent many of their younger days rehearsing at the Victoria Concert Hall.
|A photo of the stairway leading to the Victoria Concert Hall. Taken in the year 2010.|
During the Open House weekend, there are irememberVictoria collection booths to collect our favourite memories of the Victoria Theatre and Concert Hall. irememberVictoria is a collaboration between Victoria Theatre and Concert Hall and the Singapore Memory Project. Members of the public are encouraged to snap our most creative shots of the refurbished venue and hashtag our photos to #irememberVictoria.
For myself, I fondly remember the red-carpeted stairways, the façade of the clock tower and concert hall. I have some vague memories of the backstage of the Concert Hall and the Theatre too.
Special thanks to the invitation of the National Arts Council and the Victoria Theatre and Concert Hall via Waggener Edstrom Communications, I have a tour about the Victoria Theatre and Concert Hall on the first day of the Victoria Theatre and Concert Hall Open House Weekend.
|The central atrium. Victoria Theatre and Concert Hall. Taken in 2014.|
Notice the two varied designs.
The tour began at the Central Atrium which forms the central passageway between Victoria Theatre and the Concert Hall. I learnt that the façade of the two buildings was retained and some elements belonging to the original 1905 structure was restored. Through the restoration of the Central Atrium, the central passageway between Victoria Concert Hall and Victoria Theatre which existed originally in 1905 was reinstated. I like the fact that the central atrium provided ease of accessibility to the nearby Arts House.
Interestingly, the Central Atrium presents two varied designs reflecting the new and the old. Be prepared to see how these two varied designs, the ornate archways and columns of the Victoria Concert Hall and the new relief etched precast panels of the Victoria Theatre, seamlessly merge and yet contrast with one another.
|Looking down at the central atrium from Level 3. Victoria Theatre and Concert Hall. |
Taken in Jul 2014.
The tour also took us to the Victoria Theatre which underwent a major overhaul of its interior. The redeveloped theatre has an optimised seating capacity of 614. At first sight, it felt like an intimate space in which the predominantly curved seating plan brings the audience closer to the performers on stage.
|Victoria Theatre. Jul 2014.|
|Outside the Theatre. Jul 2014.|
Notice a modernised floating Rubik's Cube clad with timber seat backings from the original Victoria Theatre chairs.
During the tour, it was brought to our attention that the iconic 54-metre high clock tower was restored during the recent four-year refurbishment. Gillette and Johnson, the manufacturer of the clock tower's clock mechanism, restored and serviced the clock mechanism. In addition, an auto-winding feature was installed. This meant that no longer would there be a need to climb up the clock tower to manually wind the clock.
|The view of the clock tower from the atrium. Jul 2014.|
|Part of the clock's mechanism. Inside the clock tower. Special access is required to see this. Jul 2014.|
The Klais organ at the Victoria Concert Hall was showcased in a free performance by Dr Margaret Chen on the first day of the Victoria Theatre and Concert Hall Open House Weekend. The sound from the Klais organ can fill the entire concert hall with good vibes literally. I like the interiors of the refurbished Concert Hall. The ceilings have been replaced to suit acoustics requirements. The balcony overhang of the circle seats area was reduced to free up volume and improve acoustics.
|The Concert Hall. Jul 2014.|
|Waiting for a performance to start. Victoria Concert Hall. Jul 2014.|
By the end of the tour, I was looking forward to attending more performances at the Victoria Concert Hall and the Victoria Theatre in the near future. In the meantime, do check out the Victoria Theatre and Concert Hall Open House Weekend.
|At the Victoria Theatre and Concert Hall Open House Weekend. 19 Jul 2014.|
|The side arcades of the Victoria Concert Hall. |
A space for the audience and artists to interact. Jul 2014.
|Victoria Theatre and Concert Hall. Jul 2014.|
Victoria Theatre and Concert Hall Open House Weekend
19 and 20 July 2014 (Sat and Sun)
10 a.m. - 7 p.m.
Victoria Theatre, 9 Empress Place, Singapore 179555
Victoria Concert Hall, 11 Empress Place, Singapore 179558
Nearest MRT stations: City Hall, Raffles Place
Visit www.vtvch.com for more information
Note: Guided tours run from 11.00 a.m. - 5.30 p.m. at half hour intervals on a first-come-first-served basis.