Overture Center -- A State of the Art Cultural Center in Madison, WI
Overture Center for the Performing Arts is a beautiful modern building right in the heart of downtown Madison, on the historic State Street. It is home to several theaters that host a variety of musical and theatrical events, as well as the Madison Museum of Contemporary Art.
Overture Center History
The Overture Center opened its doors in September 2004, replacing the Madison Civic Center as the main theatrical venue in Madison. It was commissioned by Jerome Frautschi and Pleasant Rowland and designed by Cesar Pelli. Pelli is most well-known for designing the Petronas Twin Towers, in Malaysia, as well as the World Financial Center in Manhattan. The building, which is an architectural landmark for the city, cost a total of $205 million dollars.
Overture Center Events
The Overture Center is Madison's cultural event hub, and home to the Madison Symphony Orchestra, Madison Opera and Madison Ballet. They also host touring groups and artists, such as touring Broadway shows, world-renowned dance companies and comedians such as Jerry Seinfeld. The Overture Center puts on over 200 events each year.
Overture Center Seating Layout
The Overture Center has four tiers of seating with an overall seating capacity of 2,251. The upper levels have no aisles except for on the sides to maximize capacity, seating size and to improve acoustics. It has a striking architectural style that was primarily designed to carry the sound throughout the large theater as efficiently as possible. It is also home to a large permanent organ designed by the German organ designer Klais. The Center is also home to a few smaller theaters, such as The Capital Theater, which is about half of the size of Overture Hall, as well as the Playhouse, the Promenade Hall and the Rotunda Stage.
Madison is the capital of Wisconsin and the home of its largest and most prestigious public university. The beautiful capitol building sits at the epicenter of a series of streets that form concentric squares around the area. The most famous, State Street, runs on an angle directly from the Overture Center to the Capitol Building. State Street is a popular shopping district with many local shops and restaurants. It is also populated with bars that are patronized by college students year round. Another very famous and historic music venue, The Majestic Theater, calls this area home as well. Madison is a small and accessible city, and despite the popularity of State Street with tourists, it is also frequented by locals.
There was some controversy around the construction of the theater due to the extremely high cost, and many people in Madison were worried it would discourage smaller theater productions and disrupt the arts scene in Madison.
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