Detroit Opera House
Detroit’s premier destination for a special night out, the Detroit Opera House is a stunning 2,700-seat venue in the city’s Grand Circus Park Historic District. It opened in 1922 as the Capitol Theater, changing ownership several times before closing in 1985. In 1996 it reopened in all its former glory after a restoration project by the Michigan Opera Theatre. As a world-class performance venue, the opera house has hosted stars such as Louis Armstrong, Luciano Pavarotti and Roy Orbison.
It’s easy to just stand and admire this enormous Italian Renaissance-style building and its extravagantly decorated interior. There are marble staircases, ornate ceilings and elaborate chandeliers. Take a tour of the building to learn about its restoration process. You’ll also go backstage to meet personnel and learn how performances are managed.
Dozens of productions grace this stage each year, including operas, ballets and Broadway productions. Find tour dates on the website, but rest assured that you can see a variety of shows, from The Lion King musical to Beethoven’s Fidelio.
Seats in the main hall are small but comfortable and the acoustics are excellent. While it’s a spacious venue, it feels quite intimate and cozy. The building also has it’s own restaurant and bar, the Cadillac Café. It’s open for light meals before performances and desserts afterwards.
The Detroit Opera House is in the heart of downtown. Touring dates and performance schedules vary, so check the website for details. Parking near the opera house can be expensive come show time; you can prepay for a space online or by phone. Detroit’s light rail system, the People Mover, makes a loop of the downtown area and stops at all major attractions in the area, including the opera house.