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The Opera House

A Grade II* Listed Building in Buxton, Derbyshire

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Latitude: 53.2583 / 53°15'30"N

Longitude: -1.9171 / 1°55'1"W

OS Eastings: 405625

OS Northings: 373485

OS Grid: SK056734

Mapcode National: GBR HZ1R.RP

Mapcode Global: WHBBS.JC9F

Entry Name: The Opera House

Listing Date: 21 December 1970

Last Amended: 31 January 1997

Grade: II*

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1257789

English Heritage Legacy ID: 463422

Location: High Peak, Derbyshire, SK17

County: Derbyshire

District: High Peak

Town: High Peak

Electoral Ward/Division: Corbar

Built-Up Area: Buxton

Traditional County: Derbyshire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Derbyshire

Church of England Parish: Buxton with Burbage and King Sterndale

Church of England Diocese: Derby

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Listing Text


SK0573SE WATER STREET, Pavilion Gardens
616-1/4/110 (South side)
21/12/70 The Opera House
(Formerly Listed as:
The Opera House)


Opera house. 1901-03, restored 1979. Designed by Frank
Matcham, restored by Derek Sugden of Ove Arup Partners.
Coursed rock-faced gritstone with ashlar dressings and Welsh
slate roofs.
EXTERIOR: 2 storeys plus attic. East symmetrical entrance
front has 5 windows with curved ends. Banded pilasters to
ground floor with entablature, plain pilasters to upper
floors. Central recessed entrance flanked by single fluted and
banded Doric columns in-antis, with pair of glazed double
doors and canted glazed side panels plus 4 overlights with
circular glazing. Above a concave plaster with scrolls. Either
side a round headed doorway with fanlight, that to right now
blocked. Beyond single canted doorways with double panel
Central 3 bays covered by ornate iron and glass canopy
supported on 2 columns each topped by an octagonal lantern.
Above large central Diocletian window in moulded surround with
keystone and curved balustrade, flanked by plain sashes in
moulded surrounds with keystones. Topped by ramped parapet
inscribed OPERA HOUSE with coat-of-arms above, flanked by
balustrades with urn finials. Beyond curved sides have 2 plain
sashes in moulded surrounds. Above, on either side 2 circular
domed towers with paired squat Doric columns and 4 glazing bar
windows, topped with entablature, ramped parapet and
pedimented finials. Ribbed lead dome to each tower surmounted
by ball finial.
North front to Water Street has irregular stepped frontage in
3 blocks each stepped forward to right. Left block, 3-storey
and 4 windows, has curved projecting porch supported on 2
wooden columns and 2 double doors, above to right
semi-circular projection with 3 windows and shallow lead
bell-canted dome. Windows in moulded vertical panels those to
first floor with blind round heads. Curved section to right
has 2 windows to top floor.
Central block, 2 storeys and 2 windows, has central canted
porch with double doors to centre and left each topped with a
pediment, right has external staircase wall. Above 2 Venetian

Right block, 3 storeys and 5 windows, has large segment headed
doorway with keystone and double panel doors. Above a circular
window with ornate iron hanging lantern flanked by thin
pilasters and topped by pediment. To left single sash to each
floor. To right 3 pairs of plain sashes to each floor, upper
floors flanked by thin pilasters and topped by pediments.
Beyond to right canted corner with large doorway with lintel
inscribed STAGE ENTRANCE and above 3 plain sashes, above again
3 round headed sashes. Topped by ramped parapet with 6 ball
finials, set back hipped roof topped by octagonal glass and
iron lantern with pyramidal roof and finial.
INTERIOR: Baroque Revival style decoration by Dejong of London
described by Pevsner as "sumptuous". Good foyer, stairs, and
auditorium with elaborate plaster decoration to proscenium
arch, boxes, balcony fronts and ceiling with painted panels.
Classical and Art Nouveau influences to stained glass. Reputed
to have original stage equipment. The original gasolier and
distributor for the gas lighting and ventilation system is
still evident.
HISTORY: the Opera House was opened on 1 June 1903, it cost
ยป25,000. It became a cinema in the 1950's, was restored and
re-opened as a theatre on 30 July 1979, with a performance of
Donizwtti's "Lucia di Lammermoor".
(The Buildings of England: Pevsner N: Derbyshire:
Harmondsworth: 1953-1986: 117; Arup Associates Architects and
Engineers etc: Buxton Opera House (guide): Peak Press).

Listing NGR: SK0562573485

This text is from the original listing, and may not necessarily reflect the current setting of the building.

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