Vancouver Opera showed of its new 30,000 square foot facility, Thursday, to hundreds of subscribers.
Last July, the Opera consolidated several offices throughout the city, including a ticket office downtown, at its current facility at McLean St. and East 3rd Avenue.
The Opera’s entire staff is now housed in one place, helping administrators stay in closer touch with show producers and performers.
“It also saves us a couple hundred thousand in rent every year,” said the Opera’s Director of Community and Marketing Programs, Doug Tuck, who led a tour through the facility.
The new facility is housed in the former head offices of Lulu Lemon, although the building hasn’t entirely abandoned its past. A company that makes Lulu Lemon garments shares some of the space.
The Opera’s space includes a $10,000 cushioned dance floor large enough to handle ballet rehearsals; enough storage and shop space to accommodate five or six productions – including an empty space where the Opera’s “Nixon in China” set normally resides. It’s on a road trip to the Kansas City and San Francisco operas which have bought the production lock, stock and barrel.
The highlight, however, is buried deep in the bowels in a dark, windowless corner of the building; the costume shop, where every scrap of fabric ever used by the opera is kept, in case it’s needed.
The head of the department, Parvin Mirhady, told visitors costumes are used five or six times before they’re thrown out. However, their appearance is altered, and staff spray them with vodka after every performance to eliminate odours.
The costume department is also home to more than a thousand pair of shoes.