- Works to improve the orchestra pit has begun
- The work will be conducted in two stages to reduce impact on the local companies
- Upgrades will improve both safety and acoustic performance in the pit
- Work will be complete in February 2020 and realign with upgrades to the front of house areas
Work to improve the orchestra pit of His Majesty's Theatre has begun, following the appointment of Built as the head contractor for the project.
Built in 1904, His Majesty's Theatre is one of Western Australia's most well-known public buildings. The orchestra pit is regularly used by the West Australian Symphony Orchestra, which provides orchestral services to the theatre's resident companies - West Australian Ballet and West Australian Opera.
The upgrades to the orchestra pit will include the installation of a mechanised pit lift which lifts and lowers parts of the stage automatically. These changes will enable staff at the venue to load in and out of the pit both quickly and safely.
The architecturally designed improvements also include a new ventilation system for the orchestra and modern acoustic treatments.
The theatre will continue to operate throughout the works, which have been timed to cause the least disruption to performances in the venue.
The State Government set aside $6.5 million for the pit and front of house upgrades in the 2018-19 State Budget.
A tender for the front of house works is expected to be released in early 2019, with all works completed in time for the 2020 Perth Festival.
Comments attributed to Culture and the Arts Minister David Templeman:
"The McGowan Government is investing in cultural infrastructure because we recognise the value culture and arts organisations bring to the State.
"The works at His Majesty's, coupled with major developments like the new museum, significantly contribute to Western Australia's thriving cultural life and improve amenity for both locals and visitors alike.
"The changes we are making to His Majesty's now will ensure that this building remains an asset into the future.
"I encourage WA theatre lovers to continue to support His Majesty's while the work is being done."
Comments attributed to Executive Manager Orchestral Management, West Australian Symphony Orchestra, Keith McGowan:
"WASO performs approximately one third of its year at His Majesty's Theatre and welcomes the planned refurbishment of the orchestra pit.
"The improvements, which include acoustic treatment, will be a step toward making this a safer work environment for all musicians who perform in it."
Minister's office - 6552 5400