Boston Ballet readies itself for the premiere season at The Boston Opera House with today’s completion of the orchestra pit renovation at the historic theatre. The company’s move to The Boston Opera House for all season performances and the holiday classic The Nutcracker, marks a significant milestone in Boston Ballet’s history and the continued revitalization of Boston’s Theater District and Downtown Crossing.
“Boston Ballet’s move to The Boston Opera House is a major step in the company’s history and for the cultural community in Boston,” said Executive Director Barry Hughson. “I’m thrilled to see the orchestra pit restored to its original glory and am excited about what it will bring to the dancers’ and the audience experience at the theatre. Boston Ballet made a commitment to the restoration and enhancement of this theatre, and it is a commitment which will give back to the city of Boston for years to come.”
“The renovations to The Boston Opera House’s orchestra pit bring the focus and importance of live music to the art form of dance,” said Artistic Director Mikko Nissinen. “The Boston Ballet Orchestra deserves to play in the finest facility; The Boston Opera House will truly showcase their talents and the magic of the theatre experience.”
Boston Ballet announced its move to The Boston Opera House in spring 2008. With the upcoming move and the company’s long-standing commitment to live orchestra, Boston Ballet began renovation of the orchestra pit in early July 2009. The renovation was supervised by Principal Conductor and Music Director of Boston Ballet, Jonathan McPhee, and Boston Ballet’s production staff and executed by Mystic Scene Studios, of Norwood, Massachusetts. The renovation entailed creating a musical space that was acoustically in the correct position to deliver the highest quality sound to the house without interfering with sightlines to the stage. Additionally, the new orchestra pit also required removable seats which would cover the pit when it was not in use by Broadway shows. Along with these primary renovations, attention was given to reducing the noise floor, or room noise, in the theatre to better improve the acoustics and adding new music stands which will allow for a complete blackout during performances. These and other improvements were made to further improve the audience experience.
Boston Ballet’s move to The Boston Opera House and renovation of the orchestra pit contributes to the improvement of the artistic landscape of Boston in a significant way. This collaboration restores a world-class theatre to the people of Boston and visitors from around the world. Designed after the Paris Opera House, The Boston Opera House is a fitting theater for dance with comfortable seats with excellent sightlines to the stage, grand public spaces in the lobby, acoustics befitting the talents of the Boston Ballet Orchestra and an orchestra pit to deliver a wonderful musical experience to the audience.
Boston Ballet will commence its first full season at The Boston Opera House on September 19 with Night of Stars, a one-night-only performance showcasing the entire company, celebrated guest artists, and students from Boston Ballet School. The complete renovation and restoration of the orchestra pit and move to a new home mark the beginning of a new era for Boston Ballet.
Since 1963, Boston Ballet has been one of the leading dance companies in the world on stage, in the studio and in the community. Under the leadership of Artistic Director Mikko Nissinen and Executive Director Barry Hughson, the Company maintains an internationally acclaimed repertoire and the largest ballet school in North America, Boston Ballet School.
Boston Ballet maintains a repertoire of classical, neo-classical and contemporary works, ranging from full-length story ballets to new works by some of today's finest choreographers. Boston Ballet's second company, Boston Ballet II, is comprised of pre-professional dancers who gain experience by performing with the Company and independently, presenting lecture-demonstrations and special programs to audiences throughout the Northeast.
Boston Ballet School, the official school of Boston Ballet, has a long-standing dedication to excellence and access and reaches more than 10,000 students ages 2-adult each year through Boston Ballet School classes, Summer Dance Workshop, Summer Dance Program, Citydance, Taking Steps, and Adaptive Dance. The wide array of dance programs are held at four studio locations in Boston, Newton, Norwell and Marblehead, as well as community centers and in Boston Public Schools.