The ugly duckling has emerged a swan in the case of Nashville Opera’s new permanent headquarters, located within a trendy, 1940s-era neighborhood. The existing pre-engineered building, originally designed for indoor tennis, was converted into offices and rehearsal and performance space. Using the existing volume of the building and clear span space, the design team created a beautifully flexible event space for this world class opera troupe, with modern materials and graceful forms reinforcing the artistry of the singers on stage.

The attractive grand entrance welcomes audience members with its rhythmic, curved lines and mirror glass panels. Adding a contemporary flair, the patrons’ lounge at the front of the facility features a skylight to add to the warmth of the setting. In the grand lobby, a circular staircase serves as an eye-catching centerpiece, leading to the balcony that spans the entire front of the building.

The multifunctional center contains a combination of office, rehearsal, and storage space for sets, costumes, and instruments. Flexible enough to support rehearsals of large performances at the city’s performing arts center, small performances in-house, and a variety of special events and corporate meetings, the opera studio can seat up to 280 people for dinner or 299 people concert-style. Topping off the performance, plaza-like surface parking opens up possibilities to accommodate outdoor events.

Photos: © Kyle Dreier Photography