Hello, and welcome to Focus on the Arts. I’m your host – Dave Green- and this is your very own local radio programme. Every Friday evening we put the spotlight on different arts and culture facilities, and look at the shows and events that are on offer in the coming weeks.
And today the focus is on The National Arts Centre. Now, if you don’t already know it yourself , I’m sure you’re all heard of it. It’s famous throughout the word as one of the major venues for classical music (Q11).
But did you know that it is actually much more than just a place to hear concerts? The Centre itself is a huge complex that caters for great range of arts. Under a single roof it houses concert rooms, theatres, cinemas, art galleries and a wonderful public library, as well as service facilities including three restaurants and a bookshop (Q12). So at any one time, the choice of entertainment there is simply enormous.
So, how did they manager to build such a big arts complex right in the heart of the city? Well, the area was completely destroyed by bombs during the war in 1940. So the opportunity was taken to create a cultural centre that would be, what they called: ‘THE City’s gift to the Nation’. Of course it took a while for such a big project to get started, but it was planned (Q13) in the 60s, built in the 70s and eventually opened to the public in 1983 (Q14) . Ever since then it has proved to be a great to be a great success. It is not privately owned, like many arts centres, but is still in public hands – it’s run by the City Council (Q15). Both our National Symphony Orchestra and National Theater Company were involved in the planning of the project, and they are now based there – giving regular performances every week – and as the Centre is open 363 (Q16) days of the year, there are plenty of performances to choose from.
So, to give you some idea of what’s on, and to help you choose from the many possibilities, we’re b made a selection of the star attractions.
If you’re interested in classical music, then we recommend you go along to the National on either Monday or Tuesday evening at 7.30 for a spectacular production of ‘The Magic Flute’ – probably the most popular of all Mozart’s operas. It’s in the Garden Hall (Q17) and tickets start at only £8.00, but you’ll have to be early if you want to get them that cheap! And remember, it’s only on for those two evenings.
For those more interested in the cinema, you might like to see the new Canadian film which is showing on Wednesday evening at 8pm in Cinema 2. And that’s called ‘Three Lives’ (Q18). It’s had fantastic reviews and tickets cost just £4.50 (Q19), which is a reduction on the usual price of £5.50 . So, it’s really good value, especially for such a great movie.
But you can see the centre’s main attraction at the weekend, because on Saturday and Sunday, 11 am to 10 pm, they’re showing a wonderful new exhibition that hasn’t been seen anywhere else in Europe yet. It’s a collection of Chinese Art called ‘Faces of China’ (Q20) – that’s in Gallery 1 – and it some really fascinating paintings and sculptures by leading artists from all over China – and the good news is that it is completely free, so don’t miss it!
So why not go along to the National Art Centre next week for one – or all – of these great events – and you can always pick up a programme and check out all the other performances and exhibitions on offer, or coming soon, on almost every day of the year.
Next week we’ll be looking at the Museum of Science…
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