The Wales Millennium Centre
When you are looking for an interesting art filled night out, the Wales Millennium Centre for the performing arts in Cardiff is the best place to go. With its romantic location on the waterfront of Cardiff Bay, this centre gives a whole new dimension to the traditional "dinner and a show night out". Here are a few reasons why a visit to the Wales Millennium Centre is the best way to spend your evening.
Ever since it was opened in 2004 the centre has housed numerous performances of dance, ballet, opera and musicals, all of the highest quality. Aside from its two theatres, the main Donald Gordon theatre with a capacity of 1900 people and the second Weston Studio theatre with a capacity of 250, the Wales Millennium Centre also offers several shops for a fun shopping trip and bars and restaurants with a spectacular view of Cardiff Bay.
The architecture and interior design, the work of talented local architect Jonathan Adams, provide a unique atmosphere to this building. The structure features an immense dome in a bronze like colour that is meant to make the place look even better with age. Another unique feature of the centre are the two lines of text, a Welsh poetic line and an English poetic line both by Gwyneth Lewis, inscribed on the top of the dome, the lettering of which is formed by the upstairs bar area windows. Because of its impressive architectural design, wide variety of performances and services offered, the Wales Millennium Centre is sure to provide an interesting and fun filled visit.
The Wales Millennium Centre is a place to visit even only for the beauty of its architecture and interior design. Jonathan Adams from the local architect firm Capita-Percy Thomas has outdone himself with this unique structure. The bronze-like dome is meant to be both functional as well as beautiful. The copper oxide treatment will make it look better and better as it ages, while the steel underclothing means to shield it from the harsh conditions of Cardiff's waterfront. The building is clad in slate of several colours and in natural wood, both materials coming from Wales. Special features of the building are the two lines of Welsh poet Gwyneth Lewis: "Creating truth like glass from the furnace of inspiration" and "In these stones horizons sing", that are written above the main entrance using the windows of the upstairs bar area. At night the letters are illuminated making them reflect on the Cardiff Bay waters most brilliantly.
The inside of the Wales Millennium Centre hosts several shops, restaurants, bars and two theatres. The interior design of the Donald Gordon theatre also makes it one of the most beautiful and interesting European theatres with its mix of different coloured wood and irregular terracotta walls. In addition to the theatres the Wales Millennium Centre is also home to seven arts companies including the Welsh National Literature Promotion Agency and Society for Writers, the Diversions Dance Company, the Welsh National Opera and many more. Each of the resident art companies has its own office space, workspace and performance space in the centre and there is also a full recording studio and a dance house available to them.
The Welsh National Literature Promotion Agency and Society for Writers is also known as the Academy. It organizes events such as the Book of the Year Award, the Writers on Tour Scheme, festivals, readings, book launches, stage performances and workshops and it also publishes several magazines. On a more personal level the company helps writers with manuscript preparation and offers advice for anyone in the literary world.
The Diversions Dance Company of Wales delivers demonstrations and workshops to dance groups from local schools and colleges and it also commissions works of famous choreographers like Bill T. Jones, Toni Mira or Kenneth Kvarnstrom. The company's resume includes several tours across Wales and abroad in countries like Australia, Germany, Spain, Russia or Japan.
The Hijinx Theatre produces exciting plays, mixing drama and music and bringing them to communities across Wales and England every year. A special project of the Hijinx Theatre is the Odyssey Theatre project that involves the participation of the community and results in two productions every year. More than a quarter of the participants in this project have learning disabilities.
Touch Trust is a unique company providing therapy for children as well as adults that suffer from severe disabilities or autism. The therapy consists of dance, music and massage and the programs are designed individually for each person. A very special feature that the company plans to add to its program is a comforting room filled with sensory stimulation, from textures to lights, called the "snoozleum".
Ty Cerdd is the Wales music information centre for amateur and professional musicians and it brings together associations like National Youth Arts Wales, the Composers of Wales, the Welsh Music Information Centre and the Welsh Amateur Music Federation. The services it offers include an extensive library of performance scores, listening booths, a recording studio and information points.
Urdd Gobaith Cymru is an association for Wales' youth that provides sporting and cultural activities, workshops and performances in residential centers of the highest quality.
Wales National Opera has a permanent home at the Wales Millennium Centre, including rehearsal space, performance space and offices. The company is made up of principal singers, chorus and orchestra plus the technical and administrative staff and has toured across Wales as well as abroad.
A visit to the spectacular Wales Millennium Centre for the performance arts will bring you a night filled with art, whether it be ballet, opera or a musical, If you would prefer, you can just go shopping in the many shops the centre has to offer, or you can simply enjoy a refined dinner in one of the restaurants overlooking the beautiful Cardiff Bay.