Nevill Holt Opera Market Harborough, United Kingdom

Nevill Holt Opera SHORTLISTED for 2019 Stirling Prize!

Nevill Holt Opera

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© Gary Summers

July 28, 2019

Nevill Holt Opera has been shortlisted for the prestigious Stirling Prize by the RIBA.

The Prize will be announced on October 8, 2019 in London.

Please see here for the Judges’ citation and more info.

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The current owner of this 13th-17th-century estate in Leicestershire has renovated the house and populated the beautifully restored gardens with a renowned collection of contemporary British sculpture. From 2005, a two-week summer season of opera has been performed annually in the grounds. Later, a provisional tented structure was constructed annually within the shell of the estate’s Grade II listed stable block.

In 2016, the decision was made to replace the tent with a permanent opera house in yard of the stable block. This new opera house would seat 400 and include an orchestra pit for up to 50 musicians. This new house would allow the Nevill Holt Opera company to continue nurturing the finest young and emerging opera talent in the UK, and afford the hosting of community and charity events throughout the year. Sound Space Vision, in collaboration with architects Witherford Watson Mann, had an overarching consulting role on the project designing acoustics, technical systems, and theatre planning.

With respect for the heritage, natural materials and colour palette of the stable block, the WWM design complements the existing stonework with bespoke sustainable timber elements to shape the acoustic of the new opera house. Nevill Holt Opera’s commitment to the casting of talented early-career singers and giving them the essential opportunity to take on solo main stage roles, informed the brief. Therefore the acoustics and performance infrastructure supports a wide repertoire and both engages and enhances the voices of these young artists. The atmosphere of the space and place is complemented by the sustainability of both materials and operations, with outgoing ventilation air passing through openings in the wall that have been carefully sized and attenuated for maximum support of the music, and resistance to noise intrusion.

England’s newest and perhaps most uniquely intimate opera house in the country opened in June 2018.

Nevill Holt Opera – 04

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This year, it won three Royal Institute of British Architects awards and it’s easy to see – and hear – why. Seating is comfortable, sightlines clear and the acoustics are superb, every scintillating note from the relatively large pit fired into the auditorium with pinpoint accuracy.

Mark Pullinger

Bachtrack

Nevill Holt – 02

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An indisputable triumph…With its warm acoustics and state-of the-art technical equipment and backstage facilities, this can truly be called a home for music.

Rupert Christiansen

The Telegraph

Nevill Holt – 03

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This gem of a little theatre where young voices and instruments can be heard in perfect balance.

Hugh Canning

The Sunday Times

Nevill Holt – 01

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Our great selling point is intimacy, with our audiences close to the performers. I never want to lose that.

Nicholas Chalmers

The Stage

Nevill Holt Opera – 05

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A cast of young voices…sits easily on top of this shimmering pillow of sound and the warm, intimate acoustic of Nevill Holt’s lovely new opera house also does its bit.

Alexandra Coghlan

The Arts Desk

Nevill Holt Opera – 06

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Already this year the house, designed by RIBA Stirling Prize winning architects Witherford Watson Mann in conjunction with theatre designers Sound Space Vision, has won three RIBA East Midlands Awards.

Sam Smith

MusicOMH

Nevill Holt Opera House interior stalls
© Gary Summers
Nevill Holt Opera House interior, The Marriage of Figaro on stage, 2018
© Gary Summers
Nevill Holt Opera House interior stalls
© Gary Summers
Nevill Holt Opera House seats
© Gary Summers
Nevill Holt Opera House balcony
© Gary Summers
Nevill Holt Opera House balcony front
© Gary Summers
Nevill Holt Opera House balcony sides
© Gary Summers
Nevill Holt Opera House roof light
© Gary Summers
Nevill Holt Opera House The Marriage of Figaro, 2018
© Robert Woodward
Nevill Holt Opera House The Marriage of Figaro, 2018
© Robert Woodward
Nevill Holt Opera House, Powder her Face house curtain, 2018
© Robert Woodward
Nevill Holt Opera House interior sightlines plan
Nevill Holt Opera House balcony sightlines plan
Nevill Holt Opera House technical equipment
Nevill Holt Opera House balcony sightlines study
Nevill Holt Estate
Nevill Holt Opera under construction
Nevill Holt Opera House architect's model
NHO model by WWM Architects
Nevill Holt Opera House architect's model
NHO model by WWM Architects