Monday, October 22, 2007

Flood Damage at the Palau de les Arts

Helga Schmidt

Contractors outside the Palau

In a hastily convened press conference at the Palau de les Arts, Valencia this afternoon, Helga Schmidt, the Palau's Chief Representative, announced that due to the damage to the new Opera House following heavy rains on the 11th and 12th of October, the new season that was supposed to begin with a new production of Carmen on the 26th will now be delayed until the 06 November.

Santiago Calatrava flew over yesterday with his team to survey the damage and had meetings with the Foundation, representatives of the City of Arts and Sciences and also the Generalitat. Meeting continued today to evaluate and identify the problems and so find solutions so that the new season can go ahead. The date of 06 November will, they feel, give the various sub-contractors time to rectify the damage.

The rest of the season will go on as advertised, with the exception of the production of 1984, whose staging requires the hydraulic platform, the motors of which were damaged by the water and need to be replaced. 1984 will now be held another season, as Lorin Maazel is unable, due to other commitments to reschedule during the current season. (Any ticket holders for this Opera will be fully refunded.)

The main damage seem to have been electrical , and the Opera House is currently without power. The computer ticketing system has been lost, the audio visual systems in the main auditorium are damaged and there is still water in some areas. Currently only the contractors have access, though there is a meeting scheduled for tomorrow at 6pm to see whether the power an be put back on Wednesday. If successful, this would mean that rehearsals, which have been unable to take place so far, can begin in the auditorium on Saturday.

Ms Schmidt emphasised that the production is ready, that the costumes and sets were undamaged, it just needs the Orchestra, Choir and performers to get together in the main hall to rehearse. It is most important that the airconditioning i working for this to happen.

Tickets for the public which were due to go on sale on the 19th will now be on sale at the ticket offices at the Palau only on the 29th October. These will be for Carmen ONLY, and as the computer system will not at that time be functioning yet, purchasers are asked to bring cash and to be very patient as the tickets will be issued manually.

On the 26th of November, tickets for all remaining Performances throughout the season, by which time a brand new automated ticket system will be in Place.
More details Follow

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