Ramblings of a much published New Zealand author

29 July 2010

Oamaru: The Opera House 1907


They just don’t build stuff like this any more! It’s magnificent and it was built in 1906-7 in the small but prosperous town of Oamaru in North Otago, New Zealand.

As are most of the classic builings of the town’s ‘historic precinct’ its material is Oamaru limestone. Its architect was J. M. Forester, a local identity. Just over a hundred years ago it cost £10 600 (about $NZ22 000); today such a structure would probably cost in the hundreds of thousands – even millions? – rather than thousands; in any case, no modern New Zealand architect or builder would know where to start!

Not just an auditorium for theatre, ballet, concerts and, of course, opera, the Opera House also housed offices both for civic and local body organizations.

© DON DONOVAN

donovan@ihug.co.nz

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By Don Donovan