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Port Elizabeth

Port Elizabeth Opera House – Grand Performances in a Historic Building

The Port Elizabeth Opera House has a unique history. Preceding the railway lines by two years, it is not only the oldest Opera House in the Southern Hemisphere, but the only Victorian Theatre left on the continent.

The Opera House in Port Elizabeth started its
humble
beginnings by candlelight in 1892 and was only introduced to gas
lighting
some 16 years later. The building was erected on a gallows site, where
public hangings used to take place. And if that was not enough to
raise the
hair on your neck, two deaths and two murders have taken place, in the
Port
Elizabeth Opera House. It is safe to say, that no-one locks up alone
at
night. Sightings of ghosts and other apparitions have been
reported.

Once the Opera House in Port Elizabeth was opened, the press named
it
“The finest theatre in all the World”, and looking at the building
today, it
is definitely worthy of praise. The Port Elizabeth Opera House is
currently
owned by CAPAB, and in 1980, the building was declared a national
monument.
We are very fortunate to still have this historical building in daily
use,
to not only enjoy the entertainment it provides the city, but for the
cultural and architectural history that it has carried throughout the
years.

There are two parts to the Port Elizabeth Opera House, the main
stage,
which was built for productions such as musicals and ballet, and The
Barn
which is generally used for cabaret acts and smaller productions. The
Opera
House in Port Elizabeth has also been home to many famous people, such
as
Athol Fugard, Nomsa Nkonyeni and many others.

Bookings or inquiries for any of the current and upcoming
productions can
be booked through booking agents or purchased at the Opera House.
There is
ample parking available for cars and busses, and the Opera House is
open for
daily visits and groups are accepted. The Port Elizabeth Opera House,
due
to its history, also accommodates ghost tours, if requested, and if you
are
brave enough to tour the building by torchlight when the clock strikes
twelve!