The Margot & Bill Winspear Opera House
“Our dream is that Dallas will have great opera, and that our Opera will help Dallas to become one of the great cities of the world.”
—William W. Winspear, May 14, 2002
The Winspear Under Construction (2008)
It’s impossible to miss the flurry of activity and the unmistakable “buzz” in the heart of the downtown Dallas Arts District, where cranes hover over the distinctive horseshoe-shaped auditorium of the new Margot and Bill Winspear Opera House at the Dallas Center for the Performing Arts.
The Dallas Opera is already preparing for our anticipated move into this new, permanent location, scheduled to open to the public in the fall of 2009. The Dallas Opera offices will be located on the Winspear Opera House upper floors, above and behind the Margaret McDermott Performance Hall. Beyond the long-term advantages of eliminating annual rental costs, having both the performance and administrative sides of the company in the same building streamlines daily operations and improves overall efficiency.
Designed by Foster + Partners under Pritzker Prize-winning architect Norman Foster and Senior Design Partner Spencer de Grey, the Winspear Opera House is being engineered specifically for performances of opera and musical theater, with stages equipped for ballet performances, as well as other forms of dance.
A 21st century reinterpretation of the traditional opera house, the 2,200-seat Winspear Opera House’s principal performance space, the Margaret McDermott Performance Hall, is designed to be the environmentally conscious, state-of-the-art standard against which future opera houses will be measured.
The opera house’s principal entrance, known as Rosemary and Roger Enrico Family Gateway, features the Annette and Harold Simmons Signature Glass Façade that ascends to the full 60-foot height of the building, creating a seamless flow between the opera house and the surrounding park. The transparent façade provides dramatic views of McDermott Performance Hall, which will be clad in vibrant red glass panels, in addition to the Grand Lobby, the staircase and the Mary Anne and Richard Cree Box Circle and Grand Tier levels. From within the Winspear Opera House, the Simmons Glass Façade will provide a sweeping view of downtown Dallas and portions of Uptown.
Radiating from the Winspear Opera House on all sides, the Grand Portico will provide shade over three acres of the Performance Park, creating new outdoor spaces for visitors and nearby residents to gather and relax.