Teatru Manoel has commenced structural works on the Priory of Navarre and the theatre while it is closed due to the restrictions brought about by COVID-19 pandemic.
Since mid-October 2020, the Manoel has hosted more than 50 different performances both on stage and online, including several Toi Toi events and performances relating to the popular Valletta Baroque Festival, while overcoming the significant staging challenges presented by the pandemic.
When the Theatre closed its doors due to the latest COVID-19 measures, the Teatru Manoel team took the decision to initiate structural works to the historic building that could potentially create disruptions to attending audiences and artists, thereby limiting any inconvenience.
The project aims to provide better accessibility to both the Priory and theatre through the insertion of a panoramic lift, while improving general access for all to both buildings. It is also designed to bring together all the theatre’s operational and administrative functions in one place, enhancing the overall experience to both staff and visitors.
Ground floor works include a new booking office to accommodate two members of staff, which will feature a marble counter and bespoke joinery. A new exhibition area will likewise be fitted with customised joinery to exhibit costumes, objects and documents related to the history of Teatru Manoel. Visitors and staff will also benefit from a new café area, finished to the high quality befitting the entrance to such a prestigious and historic building.
The historic theatre itself will have restoration works, both on the surface of the stage and the orchestra pit façade. Likewise, the chandelier and sconces are being replaced with a blown white Murano glass chandelier, in the Rezzonico style in keeping with the theatre’s baroque architecture.
Works on the theatre’s first floor plan will extend the existing Maria Ghirlando Hall, significantly increasing its capacity while providing an area that may be used for concerts, rehearsals, lectures and meetings. A fully fitted bar area will also serve the floor, while VIPs visiting the theatre can make use of a new, dedicated VIP room. The high-quality finishes featured in the design of this area include timber wall panelling, decorative timber ceilings, marble bars counters, timber flooring with acoustic matting and customised joinery.
The full range of refurbishments is planned to be completed as quickly and efficiently as possible, so that Teatru Manoel can welcome audiences back to the revitalised space at the earliest opportunity.
More information regarding Teatru Manoel can be found online at www.teatrumanoel.com.mt.