Rice's spectacular new opera hall to open with public events including community day, 'Don Giovanni'

Brockman Hall for Opera. Photo credit: Rice University

As performance halls around the world open their doors again in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, Rice University's Shepherd School of Music will officially open the new Brockman Hall for Opera with a series of public events scheduled for next month.

opera house

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

The entire Houston community will be invited April 9 for a behind-the-scenes look at the venue and what it takes to stage an opera performance. Visitors will not only enjoy live performances, but also watch demonstrations, tour dressing rooms and rehearsal spaces, gain fascinating insights on how the new venue’s acoustics were created, and even dress up as opera singers and pose for photos on the stage of the hall’s Lucian and Nancy Morrison Theater.

Mozart's "Don Giovanni" will be the first opera performed for the public in the new building at 7:30 p.m. April 14 and 16. The comedic opera, considered one of the legendary composer's greatest achievements, tells the tale of an incurable young playboy who charts the course of his own demise in a single day.

“We have a remarkable cast of Shepherd School students bringing Mozart’s opera to life, and from the orchestra students in the pit to the technical crews managing the rigging, we can’t wait to share this once-in-a-lifetime experience with the Houston community,” Loden said.

Tickets are $75 for preferred seating and one complementary beverage, $40 for general admission, $5 for Rice students and free admission for Shepherd School students. More information is available at https://music.rice.edu/mozarts-don-giovanni .

On April 22, the Shepherd School will host a special event, “A Celebration for Brockman Hall for Opera,” featuring a performance of opera highlights beginning at 8 p.m. and a pre-performance cocktail reception with gourmet bites. For more information or to purchase tickets, visit https://music.rice.edu/celebration-brockman-hall-opera .

About Brockman Hall for Opera:

The 84,000-square-foot Brockman Hall for Opera, Alice Pratt Brown Hall and their adjoining plaza comprise the Brockman Music and Performing Arts Center. The Morrison Theater — a three-tiered, 600-seat, European-style theater with an orchestra pit for 70 musicians — is designed specifically for young singers to project their voices without overextending themselves. It is the first theater with such a configuration among U.S. universities and conservatories.

Designed by Allan Greenberg Architect LLC, the building offers a premium performance space for opera and chamber music and meets the Shepherd School's growing need for rehearsal and practice space. It also serves as a hallmark venue to attract and host high-profile speakers. The Linbeck Group served as construction manager.

Theater planning and design consultants Fisher Dachs Associates and acoustic consultants Threshold Acoustics collaborated with Greenberg on the design of the theater and orchestra pit. The theater features a state-of-the-art acoustic experience.

For more details or to RSVP, visit https://music.rice.edu/community-open-house .