Barre Opera House receives $150,000 National Life grant

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BARRE — The Barre Opera House, a 120-year-old performing arts venue has received a $150,000 donation from the National Life Group Foundation as part of the Opera House’s $1 million Second Century renovation campaign.

In honor of National Life’s ongoing commitment, the Opera House announced that the main stage will now be known as The National Life Group Main Stage at the Barre Opera House.
Described as the “last of its kind” – with historic flying bridges, decorative plasterwork and ornate tin ceiling – all original to when the hall opened in 1899.

The Second Century campaign will allow the Opera House to conduct major renovations, which will include technology and safety upgrades and historic restoration and repair work.
The Foundation grant will preserve the historic elements of the Opera House’s backstage while bringing the rigging, lighting, and sound systems up to current standards.

This twenty-first-century technology will make the Opera House more attractive to top touring acts, support a broader range of performances, improve safety for performers and stagehands alike, and reduce labor costs for almost every event.

National Life has a long history with the Opera House, being at the lead of the Opera House’s last major capital campaign in 1993.

“We are absolutely thrilled that National Life Group has once again taken the lead in supporting the performing arts and cultural life of Central Vermont,” said Bob Pope.

Currently, the Opera House has raised over $600,000 toward its $1 million goal and hopes to complete the campaign and commence construction in Spring 2020.