The Overture Center for the Arts created a beautiful new home for the major arts organizations of Madison, including Madison Opera. The centerpiece of the project is the 2,250-seat Overture Hall, a stunning new room for opera, dance, and musical theater. The forestage lift and seating wagons gracefully accommodate a Broadway-sized orchestra in the small orchestra pit configuration and a Grand Opera-sized orchestra in the large configuration. Conductor John DeMain loves the room as an opera house, praising the beauty of the sound and the ease of balance between the pit and the stage. Great care went into the design of the proscenium zone specifically to promote this natural balance. A coherent riser set and a unique orchestra shell, incorporating a full symphonic pipe organ, convert the room to a marvelous concert hall for the Madison Symphony Orchestra. The former Oscar Mayer Theater, once a Rapp & Rapp movie palace, was remade as the 1,200 Capitol Theater. It has a modified off-the-shelf design that is heavier and stiffer than the shell it replaced. Choosing a different shape from the previous shell led to a significant improvement in acoustics. The shell’s ceiling flies and the walls are conventional, individual nesting towers with a custom face.
Project Details
Mechanical Noise Control
Room Acoustics Design
Sound Isolation
Potter Lawson / Flad, Project Architects, Madison WI
Theatre Projects Consultants, Theatre Consultant, South Norwalk CT
2250-seat multipurpose hall
2008 American Architecture Awards 2008 Urban Land Institute, Award for Excellence 2004 Project of the Year, Cultural Category, Midwest Construction Magazine