The latest news and updates from the Newport Opera House Theater & Performing Arts Center
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Welcome to "Backstage"

Welcome to “Backstage”, the email newsletter of the Newport Opera House Theater and Performing Arts Center. This e-update will provide supporters of the Opera House Theater with the latest news, information and updates on the restoration project of Newport’s historic Opera House Theater. We appreciate your continued support - you are important to us!

Construction Update -- Great Progress!

Essential work continues on the historic Opera House Theater

Last month was a busy month for our work on the restoration of the Newport Opera House Theater and Performing Arts Center.  We are excited about the ongoing progress!
A number of important elements of the initial construction work have taken place, including the work to prepare for the structural steel that will be inserted to support the Atrium and Roof Terrace and Garden on the fourth floor of the Opera House building.  To prepare for the installation of the steel beams, workers dug pits for the concrete footings to support the beams, and worked on walls and ceilings from the upper projection booth in the balcony.
As workers also prepare for the construction of the second floor lobby, the interior walls of the old offices and hotel rooms were removed to create the new large open space for the lobby that will overlook Washington Square.  The new lobby will provide patrons with a spacious area for refreshments and great views of historic Washington Square!
We continue to be excited about the progress of our restoration. Stay tuned for more construction updates. You can view photos of the construction on Facebook as we continue with the work! 


View the latest photos of construction work on Facebook ›

Exciting Opera House Soirees!

The Soiree Series continues with two special events in August

The Newport Opera House Theater and Performing Arts Center was delighted to continue the popular Soiree Series by hosting two special Soirees in August.  Both were unique events that continued with the Soiree Series goal of showcasing the range of intimate, quality artistic performances our visitors will experience in the renovated Opera House Theater. 

A Special Soiree for Children and Families ...
On Sunday, August 7th, the Opera House hosted a Children’s Soiree ("Kid's swah-rey") at the home of Kristin and Bob MacMannis in Portsmouth.   The program was designed for young children (and their parents) to showcase the “Youth and Family” programming that will be held at the Newport Opera House. 

The audience was entertained by performances by Tim Johnson, a wonderful puppeteer & storyteller, and by guitarist Jake Hill and vocalist Allyson Harple.

A brightly painted stage was set up in the MacMannis backyard – a beautiful open space surrounded by trees.  The children sat entranced on blankets and low benches listening to Tim’s stories, cheering his various costume changes, and watching his puppet show with the help of the “Pickle Fairy.”  The “kids” then danced to the music of Jake and Allyson and enjoyed treats and playtime with friends - old and new. 
We were excited to have the Newport Art Museum at the Soiree to help families sign up for the children’s division of Wet Paint. It was great to collaborate with our friends and fellow arts supporters from the Art Museum. A wonderful Sunday afternoon for children and adults alike!

A dynamic Jazz Trio ...
On Friday, August 19th, Jazz was featured at the 8th Soiree of the season.  Hosted by Karen and Rob Rawson, this exciting Soiree featured a performance by the Pat Gaulin Trio.  Pat is a versatile and dynamic musician and percussionist from New Orleans who studied at Boston’s Berklee College of Music.  Pat has appeared at Lincoln Center in New York, the SXSW (South by Southwest) Music Festival, and many of Boston’s premier jazz clubs.  The trio included Pat on drums, Andy on sax and Greg on bass. 

The music began with a mesmerizing drum intro!  The audience was transported by energetic solo riffs by all the musicians, and following the performance, they enthusiastically engaged the trio with questions about their work and the jazz scene in Boston, New England, and around the country. 

A beautiful evening for great jazz! -- and a wonderful time was had by all!

A special thanks to Kristin and Rob MacMannis and Karen and Rob Rawson for their generosity in hosting these Soirees -- and most importantly, for their support of the Newport Opera House Theater and Performing Arts Center!

Click here to see more photos from these two Soirees >

Community Open Houses -- a huge success!

Our two open houses in August were attended by over 160 people!

The Newport Opera House Theater and Performing Arts Center was proud to open our doors for two Community Open Houses in August.   The Open Houses were held to give supporters and members of the community an opportunity to see first-hand the progress of our construction -- and learn more about the programming possibilities and variety of performances that will be shown on our stage once the theater is restored.
Over 160 people attended the Open Houses to get a closer look at the construction that is underway in the Opera House Theater, and learn more about the plans for the Performing Arts Center.  There was a lot of excitement about the project and the work to date.   In addition to the tours of the theater, visitors were given updates on the restoration, and information on the myriad possibilities of first-class performances and programming on our stage.  If you haven’t seen the video on performances and programming possibilities, you can view it by clinking on this link.
We were elated by the interest and enthusiasm for the Community Open Houses, and look forward to continuing to host more this fall.  Watch for details of the next open house.  We are looking forward to sharing our excitement, progress and plans for the Newport Opera House Theater and Performing Arts Center.
View photos of our Community Open Houses on Facebook ›

Barnes & Noble "Book Fair" in support of the Newport Opera House Theater

Books and beautiful music set the tone for a wonderful evening!

The Newport Opera House Theater was excited to be the beneficiary of a “Book Fair” sponsored by Barnes & Noble of Middletown in support of the restoration of the Opera House Theater.  When supporters of the Opera House made their purchases in the bookstore and the cafe,  a percentage of the purchase was donated to the Opera House Theater Restoration! 
As a special treat to shoppers and supporters, the Opera House Theater and Barnes & Noble sponsored a musical performance by Harpist Arilyn Mitchell.  Arilyn performed an array of beautiful selections for several hours, and visited with guests about her music and performances.  Read more about this talented and exciting young musician by visiting her website at
We greatly appreciate Barnes & Noble's generosity and support of the Newport Opera House Theater and Performing Arts Center by hosting this book fair for the theater restoration.  And a special thanks to Barnes & Noble Manager Mark Carpender and his staff for their help with this wonderful event!

Have you sponsored your Theater Seat?

Be a part of the Opera House Theater future -- sponsor a theater seat today!

If you haven’t had the opportunity to reserve a seat in our historic theater and to be a part of the future of the Newport Opera House Theater and Performing Arts Center, you still have time to participate. Theater seats are going fast, but a number of seats are still available and waiting to be sponsored by you!
As you know, the “Take Your Seat” campaign is a fundraising effort that provides supporters the ability to sponsor and name a theater seat, and have it inscribed with a brass name plate in honor of a family member, friend, or loved one. 
We hope you will “Take Your Seat in Newport History” and be a part of the future of the Newport Opera House Theater and Performing Arts Center!  Having your name permanently inscribed on one of the new Theater Seats in the renovated Opera House Theater is a great way to show your support and be a part of the theater’s restoration!
Remember, every dollar we raise through our Theater Seat Campaign, helps us match the $4.2 million State Cultural Facilities Grant for the Opera House restoration. Your tax-deductible contribution will be a lasting tribute to your support of the Newport Opera House Theater and Performing Arts Center.
All contributions will be used to restore the Opera House Theater and to set the stage to celebrate the 150th anniversary of the original opening of the Opera House Theater in 1867.
Click here for more information -- and to reserve your Theater Seat!

Volunteer for the Newport Opera House Theater

We need your help -- be a part of the Opera House future by volunteering today!


We are always looking for volunteers to help out at the Newport Opera House Theater and Performing Arts Center!   Being a member of our volunteer team is one of the best ways to help with the restoration project. 

We have many projects that you can help with – the only experience you need is enthusiasm and excitement for restoring our historic theater and bringing year-round programming and performances to our city! 
If you have time to help, please email -- or give us a call at 401-619-4599.  We look forward to seeing you!
Copyright © 2016 Opera House Theater & Performing Arts Center - Newport, RI, All rights reserved.

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