It's hard to put into words just how fabulous the Opera House is, but I'll give it a go as it's such a jewel in Belfast's crown that it totally deserves to be on Yelp.
The Grand Opera House to give it its full title has been around since the end of the 1800s which is newsworthy in itself. It hasn't escaped the bombs and was badly damaged a couple of times but happily it was fully restored each time and is still just as impressive today.
For my family, Christmas isn't Christmas without a visit to the panto at the Opera House and before the show starts I love to just look around and up at the interior of the theatre. I'm no architecture buff and would attempt to describe the outside and inside as a kind of grand oriental extravaganza of little towers and domes and cherubs. It is just stunning. There are stall and circle seats and a good old fashioned orchestra pit. The most impressive seats are the boxes which jut over the circle and towards the stage and are intricately decorated and embellished.
You can have drinks during the interval and have a meal before or after your show in the in house restaurant.
There are loads of different performance at the Opera House, from ballet to raucous 'girls night out' plays to kids shows. Hopefully you'll appreciate the surroundings as much as the show.
The Grand Opera House is a very beautiful building. Or rather, it was until they added on the Baby Grand, a modern, soulless extension that looks so out of place next to the big old Victorian theatre.
Aesthetics aside, the Grand Opera House is something Belfast should be genuinely proud of. It's a proper survivor of the Troubles, and despite my own personal reservations about the outside of the new annex, the Baby Grand, a small performance space is a great way for the Opera House to put on smaller, more intimate performances.
The Opera House isn't a producing theatre, Instead, it stages touring shows. It also takes some shows that have been popular in smaller theatres (like the Lyric) and gives them a grander scale and a bigger audience.
This is the place where you'll catch touring versions of West End shows, or the Pantomime at Christmas. It will set you back more than going to a smaller theatre will, but then, it's sometimes worth forking out the extra money for quality showmanship.
Inside, the theatre is beautiful: voluminous, red stage curtains, audience boxes and comfortable seating take you back to the days of Victorian opulence, when a trip to the theatre was something special. Fair enough, you might be going to see Sing-along-a-Sound-of-Music, but you can't have everything!
I'm giving the Opera House four rather than five stars as, like most cities' main theatres, it's a little pricey daahling. But for those nights you decide to treat yourself, or get tickets as a welcome pressie (hint), the Opera House really gives you the feeling of a special night out. A lot of the time it does big touring shows or pantomimes, which aren't my cup of tea, but it also shows some more locally based dramas and comedies which are always top quality.
The theatre itself is just how a theatre should be and like most old theatres everywhere, with rows of seats on two levels as well as private boxes overlooking the stage (where bottles and glasses are allowed, unlike for us plebs in the stalls who have to make do with plastic glasses). There's even an orchestra pit, and the seats and curtains are done in that fancy red plush you just associate with the theatre.
There are two bars, one in the foyer and one on the first floor, and like most theatres you can pre-order drinks before the show for the interval. There's also a cafe bar and a restaurant for full blown meals or light bites, both not too expensive at all considering the venue.
The Grand Opera House has been around since 1895, surviving the political madness and is now one of Belfast's must-sees. Whether you're just visiting Belfast or have been living here since year dot, you should go at least once.
Its nice that Belfast has a theatre that you could easily make comparisons with some of the theaters in the likes of London. But I don't want to kid myself.
I can wholeheartedly say it is the best we have to offer in this genre but I'm not sure if that sentence is as good as it reads. London has twenty theaters that are up to this standard if not better.
I don't want to seem negative but I think this is a good venue but probably not great value for money. On the other hand it is good to have a place that will show local productions as well as host the bigger name touring plays and shows. I am never wowed when I visit here, mainly because I've been in better theaters...
But alike a lot of things its good for Belfast!!!
Depending where you sit, can make or break the show! The opera house is a good size, but also small and intimate so you nearly feel part of the show sometimes.
Lucanios, the restaurant is amazing. The chicken is amazing and you keep your table for the interval too and you pre-ordered drinks are waiting for you. The staff also let us leave our winter coats and umbrellas too!
Centrally located, right beside a main train and bus station and attached to the five star Fitzwilliam Hotel, it's easy to find with lots nearby.
I hadn't been to the Grand Opera House in a number of years but I had the opportunity to visit for a business networking event recently and I was pleasantly surprised. I was seeing the place in a completely different context in that my main purpose was to meet other business people in convivial surroundings and hopefully enjoy some nice food and be able to hear the main speaker in comfort.
The Opera House certainly did us proud as the saying goes it was great craic! All had a most enjoyable evening in beautiful setting and I think it could be called agreat success.
Recently given a makeover and a new shiny modern annex, the Grand Opera House is the main place for most theatre-goers in Belfast. Although the Waterfront and Ulster Hall provide space for most music acts, the Opera House is the home of the travelling ballet companies, the Christmas Pantomimes with good 'aul May McFettridge, musical theatre performances, as well as various popular plays and operas. A regular theatre-goer, my most recent experience of the Opera House was for a performance of "The Rocky Horror Picture Show", which was, as it always is, very entertaining. We had good seats, and the theatre is arranged on a slope, which means everyone in the stalls has a good view of the stage. I've been in the 'God's' before, and those dizzying heights don't have quite the same view of the action, but are still decent seats.
The new annex is not everyone's favourite, some people I thnk miss the ambience and coziness of the original bar area, but I champion the new space. It's light and spacious and has a decent amount of seating as well as a cloakroom. There are far better toilet facilities than before, which is great considering I drank quite a few wines before the show. Well, it was Rocky Horror after all! A standard 1/4 bottle of white wine will set you back £3.50, and the same for a pint of Guinness. Not the cheapest drinks around, but possibly to be expected in the theatre 'dahling!'
Whatever show you choose to see, The Grand Opera House is a great night out.
As a budding young playwright (yes I said it, and if you disagree with me I'll write about it) the GOH is a stunning place and must be what it's like for sex addicts to go into a strip club. Everything about it creates an atmosphere that nothing or nowhere will ever be able tarnish. The place is stunning on the inside. Although I have never quite made it to the stage, the brouchers tell you it is bigger than ever before thanks to a fancy new extension in 2006 so an extraordinary experience gets better. Wow wow wow...
But sadly unlike some stunning places (Ulster Museum for example), the GOH does have one slightly huge downside and that is the new extension from the outside. It's almost repulsive and is nothing like in keeping with the older part. Kind of disappointed when I found out both were connected because they look like two totally individual places. It's a shame 'modern design' has once more reared its ugly pretentious head. But in saying that, it's a fabulous place on the inside and I recommend it a lot
The Grand Opera house is a Belfast landmark and as a result, it's hard to say too many bad things about it. Like the fact that the balcony seats have been built so that you feel like your on the peak of a rollercoaster and about to the floor below. Or the overpriced sweets and drinks, with a bag of Haribos and Minstrels with a bottle of Coke likely to set you back £5. Or the eyesore of a 'facelift' they gave it recently, the poor lighting that strains the eyes and terrible acoustics. I'm not a fan as you can tell, even though I probably should be. If you can watch your favourite show in the Waterfront then do yourself a favour and give this place a miss.
One of the crowning architectural achievements in the city and one of the best places to soak up some music, theatre and all round culture.
The Opera house has been tweaked, fixed and tampered with over the years to keep it as fresh and up to date as possible, the last major renovation being the addition of the new restaurant bar and cafe (which has faced some serious criticism for it's modern styling not fitting with the rest of the venue)
You can understand why, it does spoil it a tad but still, the venue is superb inside, like a smaller, denser Albert Hall with a touch of the Carnegie about it.
I saw Steve Earle here when I was in single figures and although the gig was fantastic the sound was unbelievably deafening - not the place for a hard edged roots rocker like the southerner but great for the quieter and more ambient.
very nice place, new look, good for a special night out.
i wasn't very impressed with the food though - it sounded good on the menu but the taste was quite disappointing.
The opera house is a great venue, and is so much nicer after its recent refurbishment. The interior is amazing, and adds to the atmosphere of an evening out to see a show. The only thing i didn't like is the coffee shop place on the ground floor, i found it overpriced and not very nice.
A good, old fashioned feel about this great venue. There is something magical about making your way into the seating area, sitting down and taking in the surroundings. There is always a buzz of anticipation before a show starts and this adds to your night out. The shows themselves are often well produced and executed. As with most theatres, though, seating can be a bit tight for space and you don't get much room to stretch, so take a chance to go for a walk around when there is a break.
A beautiful Opera House, rebuilt many times and as wonderful as ever. A credit to those who look after it. A fab and diverse selection of shows throughout the year to suit all ages from old to young. Prices could be better, an expensive night out.
i go with my mum at least twice a year and no matter how many times i go i am always in awe when i look up at that ceiling it truely is breathtaking. i love this place and would recommend it to anybody who is looking for a good night out without being surrounded by all the lager louts. rocky horror is always great here i hope it comes back soon.
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