The Esplanade Opera Theater in Singapore, a unique building

The Esplanade Opera House is one of the most recognizable icons in Singapore. It is also one of the most reputed and active art centers in the world, as it hosts some three thousand performances each year. If you want to know more about this extraordinary building, do not hesitate to continue reading.

Aerial view of the Opera Esplanade Theater

In 1989, a report revealed the lack of adequate places in Singapore for performing arts. And the existing ones, such as the Victoria Theater, lacked the capacity to host large performances that needed numerous seats or a larger stage.

Thus, in 1992 the planning of the current Opera Esplanade Theater began, which did not begin to be built until four years later, in 1996. For that construction, which lasted until 2001, no less than about six hundred million Singapore dollars were invested.

The Opera Esplanade Theater was finally opened in 2002 by the then president of Singapore Sellapan Ramanathan, better known as S. R. Nathan. Since then, the building has hosted numerous representations.

«The opera explains life and all that it implies: love, hate and passion.»

-Lesley Garrett-

Lighting of the Opera Esplanade Theater - Christopher Chan /

The Opera Esplanade Theater is composed of two large rooms: a theater with two thousand seats and a concert hall with sixteen hundred seats. In the enclosure we can also find several smaller studios, an open-air theater and even a shopping center.

The main theater follows the horseshoe pattern of the Italian operas. Meanwhile, the outdoor theater has a privileged location facing the sea and hosts, especially, theater performances and rock concerts. Also, the shows that are held on weekends in it can be witnessed for free.

For its part, the concert hall offers a very functional look, so it is not surprising that it is one of the best acoustically designed speaking. In fact, only five scenarios on the planet reach their level. It also stands out, among other things, for hosting a Klais Orgelbau pipe organ.

TOArchitecture of the Opera Esplanade Theater

Roof Detail

The construction consists of two huge domes in which more than seven thousand aluminum panels are assembled, which glow at night due to interior lighting. A show more than recommended. In addition, they are placed in such a way that the maximum possible natural lighting during the day is guaranteed.

As a curiosity, The peculiar shape of the domes has given rise to the inhabitants of Singapore nickname the theater with the name of Durian, which is a famous local fruit that cannot boast precisely having a very pleasant aroma. They also compare it with kitchen strainers, hedgehogs or even with insect eyes.

The entire design of the Opera Esplanade Theater fell to two architecture firms that worked together. And although his work was not without controversy, the truth is that today the building has managed to forge a great reputation, being compared to the popular Sydney Opera House.

View of Singapore with the Esplanade Opera House

Therefore, the Esplanade Opera House is a mandatory stop for those traveling to Singapore. The options range from witnessing a show to enjoying the views of Marina Bay from the Esplanade shopping center or from the promenade where the building is located.

Reaching him is very simple. One possibility is to take the subway and follow the green and red lines to the City Hall stop, which is a ten minute walk from the place. You can also opt for one of the numerous public buses (36, 56, 70, 75, 77, 97, 106, 111, 133, 162, 171, 195, 502, 857, 960 or 961).

On the other hand, You can take advantage to visit other nearby places of interest, like the Merlion park, where the statue that gives its name, half fish and half lion; the Raffles Hotel, maximum exponent of the colonial era of Singapore; the Boat Quay area; or the Singapore Flyer, a ferris wheel of one hundred sixty-five meters.

Video: Singapore's Iconic Buildings - Esplanade (October 2019).