San Francisco War Memorial Opera House
The beautiful San Francisco War Memorial Opera House, one of the last Beaux-Arts buildings erected in the country, opened with a performance of Puccini’s Tosca in 1932.
This active performance venue, which also stages ballet, offers limited availability for corporate gatherings. But if a group requires a short lead time—and is very lucky—it’s a wonderful place for an event, according to Sharon Walton, communications and events manager.
The opera house has hosted functions in its lobbies, including receptions for up to 1,000 people and sit-down dinners for up to 250 people.
“Unless the event has a performance component—awards ceremony, lecture, actual performance—there is no access to the auditorium and/or stage during an event,” Walton said, adding that resident Patina Catering is available to work with planners on a delicious menu.
Opera lovers will descend on San Francisco from all over the world next year when the San Francisco Opera stages Wagner’s Ring Cycle.
Oslo Opera House, Norway
The spectacular Oslo Opera House, home of the Norwegian National Opera & Ballet, opened in 2008 with a horseshoe-shaped main auditorium that features amazing acoustics and a chandelier made of 5,800 handmade crystals.
The calendar here includes upcoming performances of Rossini’s The Barber of Seville and Donizetti’s Lucia di Lammermoor, and the opera house is also available for meetings, receptions, wine tastings, dinners in the foyer and more.
Other than the foyer, gathering spaces include the main stage, which accommodates up to 1,334 people, the Kirsten Flagstad room, which can hold 60 people in a cinema setup, and the Gunnar Brunvoll royal reception room, which seats 20 people.
“Opera singers and ballet dancers can be made available to perform at corporate events,” said Terje Jacobsen, project manager, development. “We can also make an event special by decorating the stage with elements from an opera or ballet, and enhance the effect with light design. This adds drama and makes the whole stage look amazing and magical.”
Guided group tours and group ticketing are available.
Noah Liff Opera Center, Nashville
Nashville’s Noah Liff Opera Center, another new kid on the block, opened in 2009 and stages grand operas like Mozart’s Don Giovanni and Bizet’s Carmen, which are both on the calendar this season.
The venue also hosts private corporate events such as trade shows, training seminars, luncheons and receptions.
“Sleek, contemporary design makes the Noah Liff Opera Center the ideal setting for any event,” said Annmarie Mizzoni, facility and events manager. “Our events are executed with the same knowledge and technology that our performances entail. From lighting to sound, staging to decor, our private events are professionally created, just like our last production.”
Group tickets are available to opera performances, and artists are typically available to sing at events.
Pittsburgh Opera Headquarters
Chamber operas including As One and 27 are performed at Pittsburgh Opera Headquarters, an opera house that’s home to the Pittsburgh Opera organization.
Pittsburgh Opera Headquarters also hosts a wide range of corporate events, including off-site work sessions and receptions.
According to Chris Cox, director of marketing and communications for the Pittsburgh Opera, the building has two primary gathering spaces, the George R. White Opera Studio, which can hold up to 400 people for a cocktail reception or 200 for a seated dinner, and the adjacent Founders’ Room, which accommodates up to 100 people in theater-style seating or 50 for a dinner.
“They can be combined into one larger space if requested,” Cox said. “Both spaces have a raw industrial feel from their 1869 origins. Guests often use the term ‘industrial chic’ to describe the vibe of the venue.”
Event add-ons include a tour of the facility and special group rates for performances.
“We are also happy to discuss having opera singers sing or speak at a private business event,” Cox said.