MnOrch will use Convention Center as temporary home


View from the stage at the Minneapolis Convention Center Theater stage (Image courtesy Minnesota Orchestra)

The Minnesota Orchestra will move to the Minneapolis Convention Center for it's 2012-2013 season as Orchestra Hall gets its $40 million facelift.

Today's announcement is a pleasant surprise for the many people who assumed the Orchestra was likely to be flitting from venue to venue around the Twin Cities as the work proceeded downtown.

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"We were stupidly, I think, unaware of this beautiful theater that is just a block and a half away from us," Minnesota Orchestra General Manager Bob Neu said this afternoon. "So we looked at just a whole lot of spaces, some expected, some that were maybe surprising kind of venues for us. And many had good qualities, but not all the qualities we were looking for. We sort of just stumbled across the Convention Center, thinking we would just be looking at a ballroom or something, that we would really have to re-outfit and that wouldn't be ideal for us, and the wonderful people at the Convention Center said, 'why don't you look at out hall, or our theater,' and we said 'lovely idea! Thank you so much! "

Not only does the arrangement give the Orchestra a home-base for the season, it allows season ticket holders continuity too, both in terms of know where to come for concerts, and where they will sit in the hall.

Neu said there will be some work done on the hall to tweak the acoustics, including the installation of orchestra shells, but he says the sound is very good in the first place.

Neu said they settled on the Convention Center some six months ago, but have been working out the logistics and in particular the dates in the time since.

"It's a 2100 seat hall, so it doesn't require a rethinking of the programming we do because its very similar to the space that we perform in now."