Rochester Opera House, a not-for-profit organization, presents a full performance season of shows for adults, families, students and teens as well as four sessions of Summer Theatre Camp and the Summer Picnic Series. With the floor leveled, the theatre transforms into a dance club or a nightclub with cocktail seating for a series of Broadway musicals. Since 1998, thousands of theatre patrons have traveled to this historic theatre from over five-hundred cities and town in New England and beyond.
The new Rochester City Hall and Opera House combination was revealed to the public on Memorial Day 1908. Well known architect and Rochester native, George Gilman Adams, designed a magnificent theatre with stunning architectural details...horseshoe balcony, grand proscenium, intricate stenciling, near-perfect acoustics. Adams invented a unique mechanism that raises the auditorium floor at an incline for amphitheater seating or levels the floor for dancing.
By 1984 the Opera House, an "elegant new theatre" and source of civic pride in 1908, lay in ruins. No one remembered how to operate or where to locate the floor mechanism. No one remembered the intricate stenciling and murals hidden behind layers of paint. The community dream to restore this once shining community treasure seemed impossible.
In 1996 Mayor Harvey E. Bernier, Jr. launched the Rochester Opera House Restoration Project. The dream became reality with a monumental, mainly volunteer, community effort for which the City of Rochester received the 1997 Governor's Award in the Arts for Community Spirit. The Rochester Opera House, listed on the National Register of Historic Places, is the only remaining theatre of its kind with a mechanism that raises/levels the orchestra floor.
Learn more fascinating details about the twists and turns of fate in the history of the Rochester Opera House and about George Gilman Adams' intriguing mechanism.
History: The Dramatic, Sometimes Miraculous Hundred Year Journey
of the Rochester Opera House
Last Moving Floor: Details the unique mechanism that raises and levels the
auditorium floor of the Rochester Opera House.
Enjoy a Video Tour of the Rochester Opera House and The Last Moving Floor in Action
From the Archives: Memories of the grand old Rochester Opera House
Rochester Opera House presents:
The Mainstage Series presents concerts, plays, dance and music with performances by acclaimed international and national artists as well as regional and local artists.
The Family Series entertains and educates all ages with symphony, plays, concerts, dance, music and comedy. We partner with several local not-for-profit arts organizations, becoming their stage to showcase their talented artists.
The historic floor raising and leveling mechanism is set in motion to lower the orchestra floor for the Dance Party Series. Orchestra seats are removed to make way for dancing to all types of bands from rock and roll to big band.
The Theatre Series offers plays and musicals by our own Rochester Opera House Productions. Local and area actors, directors, choreographers and musicians collaborate to present Broadway musicals and plays. Many of these productions are flat-floor shows that feature cocktail seating and catering.
The Holiday Series includes all Mainstage, Family, Theatre and Arts & Education Series shows presented during the Christmas season.
We take special pride in the Arts & Education Series shows that not only entertain, but also enhance curriculum in literature and in history. We partner with area schools (K-12) to present performances as field trips for their students. "Education through entertainment is at the very heart of what we do. There is no better way to capture a child's imagination than through live performance." - Executive Director, Anthony Ejarque
On Wednesday mornings at 10:00 AM, children and parents or teachers pack their picnic baskets and bring their blankets for fun-filled interactive shows for the Summer Picnic Series. We partner with local day-care organizations, so that these children, often from lower-income families, may attend a show. Our ticket prices remain affordable, so that all may participate in the joys of a performing arts experience and may develop an appreciation of the cultural arts. Mission:
Our mission is to fill our patrons' hearts and souls with joy through entertaining, enlightening and educational programming developed with an Arts for All philosophy and to preserve our historic theatre as a cherished legacy for our children and grandchildren. Vision:
Our vision is to continue to grow as a premier regional performing arts venue, to offer our stage for community events and to shine as our community's most precious jewel, while positively impacting the lives of our patrons and the economic health of our downtown.