Opera House in Guangzhou, China, Begins Construction

Classic Arts News   Opera House in Guangzhou, China, Begins Construction
Construction began on January 18 on the Guangzhou Opera House, the Associated Press reports.

The 1 billion yuan building, which is designed by Iraq-born and London-based architect Zaha Hadid, will be one of China's biggest theaters, with 1,800 seats.

It is expected to present its first performances in 2007.

Lin Shusen, Guangzhou's Communist Party secretary, told China Daily, "The opera house will meet the needs of various performances after its completion, including large-scale operas, enabling residents in the city to enjoy fine arts.

According to the China Daily, Lin said that that the city also has plans to renovate and rebuild a number of the city's existing theaters, in an attempt to improve the city's cultural life. A new library and museum would also be built in the next five years, he said.

Hadid, who won the Pritzker Architecture Prize in 2004, is currently working on projects including the National Center of Contemporary Arts in Rome, a ferry terminal in Salerno, Italy, and the offices of BMW in Leipzig.

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