War Memorial Opera House

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War Memorial Opera House - Theater in San Francisco.
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INFO Located on the Western side of Van Ness Avenue in San Francisco, the War Memorial Opera House (WMOH) honors those who served in World War I and is part of the San Francisco War Memorial and Performing Arts Center. It has... ... read more

War Memorial Opera House Videos

Nutcracker Guide: War Memorial Opera House
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Nutcracker Guide: War Memorial Opera House
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Nutcracker Guide: History of the Opera House
445 views
Praire Home Companion Live Broadcast - January 9, 2010 War Memorial Opera House - San Francisco
302 views
Xerxes preview from San Francisco Opera
674 views
Glide's Annual Holiday Festival, November 12, 2009, San Francisco War Memorial Opera House
640 views
Il Trovatore Live Simulcast at AT&T Park from the War Memorial Opera House (9-19-09)
286 views

War Memorial Opera House Information

War Memorial Opera House - Theater in San Francisco.

Located on the Western side of Van Ness Avenue in San Francisco, the War Memorial Opera House (WMOH) honors those who served in World War I and is part of the San Francisco War Memorial and Performing Arts Center. It has housed the San Francisco Opera since its opening night in 1932.

The War Memorial Opera House marks the first municipally owned opera house in the United States, built with $4 million in bonds. It is also one of the last Beaux-Arts structures ever built in the United States, boasting a colonnade of paired columns and enormous arched windows. Inside, the grand entrance hall features a barrel-vaulted and coffered ceiling, with two overlooks from staircase landings at each end of the hall.

The theater, which features 3,146 seats and 200 standing room spots is renowned for its gilded proscenium arch and huge aluminum and glass panel chandelier.

Under the direction of Pierre Monteux from 1941 to 1952, RCA Victor recorded the San Francisco Symphony inside the WMOH, and from 1932 to 1980, the orchestra performed most of its concerts here. The symphony’s final concert inside the WMOH was in 1980, an all-Beethoven concert conducted by Leonard Slatkin.

Following the bombing of Pearl Harbor, the house was often blacked out with performances monitored by air raid wardens. In 1945, the United Nations had its first conference here and in 1945, the Treaty of San Francisco was signed inside the Opera House, marking the end of War World II hostilities with Japan. Other events at the War Memorial Opera House include the Goldman Environmental Prize, which was first chosen in 1990 and now is hosted there annually.

War Memorial Opera House User Reviews

Average rating:
A world-class opera house, what else is there to say?
Lucie D. May 21, 2013
Ok, there is one thing to say: Sit in the back. It is generally known that the War Memorial Opera House was not designed with the best acoustic engineering, so (as is the case at the Opera Garnier in Paris), the best seats are the cheap ones, way up high in the nosebleeds. That being said, I have never had a problem with the musical experience here. Whether in the Orchestra, the first balcony, or the cheap seats. They have screens for the upper levels, which is not my particular favorite, but they do not obscure the view of the stage for those of you bringing binoculars or opera glasses. World-class productions. Standing-room tickets are worth it if the show is sold out. Order a glass of wine before curtain to have on reserve at intermission so that you can get a table. Use the women's restrooms on the first floor- they are the biggest. Dress the way you want. I personally feel that going to the Opera House is an occasion to look snappy, but you can get away with jeans and a button-down shirt. This is San Francisco.
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