Frequently asked questions
Frequently Asked Questions
Why is Scottish Opera leading this campaign?
Scottish Opera bought the Theatre Royal in 1974, turning it into Scotland’s first national opera house and bringing a new era of opera production and performance to Scotland. We still own the theatre, though since 2005 the day-to-day running of it has been managed by Ambassador Theatre Group. There is now an urgent need to improve the theatre’s public spaces and, as owners, we are leading the project to bring them into the 21st century.
What’s going to change?
A dramatic new entrance on the corner of Cowcaddens Road and Hope Street will provide spacious foyers and accommodate new bars, box office, cloakrooms, toilet facilities and hospitality suites. The new building will enable lifts to be installed for the first time, significantly improving access to all levels of the theatre. The development will also provide a new Education Suite enabling wider delivery of the arts education work for which Scottish Opera has established a world-leading name, as well as work carried out by Ambassador Theatre Group Creative Learning. For those with a head for heights, a new roof garden will offer views across the city.
Will the theatre be closed during construction?
The theatre will be open as usual during most of the construction period. It will close from February to May 2014 to enable the final ‘joining up’ of the new extension with the existing theatre.
How will my visit to the theatre be affected?
We’ve tried to minimise the impact on our audiences, but there will be some temporary changes to how you use the theatre during the construction period:
• Instead of the Café Royal, bars at Stalls and Dress Circle levels will be open from 1 hour before curtain up.
• There will be no cloakroom facilities so you will need to take coats and bags into the auditorium with you.
• There will be changes to toilet provision on the ground floor which may mean that you will need to use different toilets from usual. Toilets will be clearly signposted and staff will be able to direct you to those nearest.
• When collecting tickets before a performance, you’ll now find the box office in the main ground floor foyer, through the doors from Hope Street.
What’s being done to the auditorium?
The Theatre Royal has been a key venue in Glasgow’s rich cultural offering since it was built 145 years ago, and work was carried out in 1974 and 1997 by Scottish Opera to preserve and restore the magnificent category A listed auditorium. The changes we are making now are designed to improve your comfort:
• A new heating/cooling system will be installed to help keep the temperature within the auditorium at a more comfortable level.
• The layout of the seats in the Stalls and Dress Circle has been changed to improve sightlines and reduce the number of seats where it is difficult to see the stage because of pillars or other obstructions.
How much is this going to cost?
The project will cost £12.45million. Over 96% of the funds required have already been raised through support from the Scottish Government, Creative Scotland, Glasgow City Council, Heritage Lottery Fund and an array of Trusts and Foundations, as well as support from individual donors and our public fundraising campaign.
When will the work be finished?
The new look theatre will be complete by Summer 2014, in time for Glasgow’s hosting of the Commonwealth Games.