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The stone inscription above the doors of Manchester Opera House
The stone inscription above the doors of Manchester Opera House
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Manchester City Centre

Manchester Opera House

Theatres

You can indeed see an opera at Manchester Opera House but you’re much more likely to catch the latest West End musical or hit comedian. 

This beautiful 1,920-seater venue, compete with 80-seat orchestra pit, opened in 1912, and has been through various closures and incarnations (cinema, bingo hall) before becoming a theatre again in 1984.

It’s now the sister venue to the Palace Theatre up the road (they’re both owned by Ambassador Theatre Group). It fulfils a similar role to The Palace of hosting big touring shows with a wide appeal. 

Notable premieres held here in recent years include Bat Out of Hell: the Musical and the UK premiere of Mrs Doubtfire.

It’s a popular choice for family shows – particularly its yearly pantomime (the street outside fills with excited schoolchildren on December afternoons). You’ll also find lots of nostalgia-orientated shows including tribute bands and sometimes the original acts themselves. 

Every now and then, the Opera House remembers what it’s called and stages an actual opera. In January 2023, they’ll be showing three days of award-winning Ellen Kent operas including Madama Butterfly, La Boheme, and Aida. 

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