Opera house on song for October debut

A new opera house will open to public in downtown Xuhui District in October.

Shangyin Opera House, the Shanghai Conservatory of Music's opera house, resembles a “floating structure” at the junction of Fenyang Road and Huaihai Road M.

It will be used by students at the conservatory and present public performances of operas from both home and abroad.

The 8-story structure, including three underground levels, has a medium-size theater with 1,200 seats along with four rehearsal halls for opera, orchestras, choruses and folk music as well as a lecture hall.

The latest soundproofing technology has been employed and the U-shapes main theater allows audiences to get closer to the stage.

The sound of opera, vocal and instrumental performances will be of the highest quality, according to the conservatory. A screen on the back of each seat can display subtitles in eight languages.

“The opera house aims to promote opera among citizens and shorten the distance between locals with music, art and theater,” said Liao Changyong, president of the conservatory.

Opening performances planned will include an original opera about composer He Luting and a musical about the liberation of Shanghai in 1949.

Popular operas from abroad will be performed as part of the Shanghai International Art Festival.

The conservatory said it hoped the opera house would become a new downtown cultural landmark and contribute to the city’s ambition to become “Asia’s performance capital."

In the future, more intelligent technologies will be applied in the opera house such as facial recognition, big data analysis and a smart parking service, it said.

The structure of the opera house is built on a spring isolator to cut out vibrations from the subway system running beneath the building. It is the first opera house to be built with such "floating" technology.