At long last, we took a tour of the Overture Center of the Arts. They are free, given every Saturday morning at 11:00 AM unless a special event is going on.
In the entry is a plaque.
Our tour guides Dawn and Ann were quite excellent in showing us so many of the nooks and crannies of this fine entertainment venue. Our tour began in the foyer in front on an inscription carved into the marble, a quote by the main benefactor, Jerry Frautschi. He and his wife Pleasant Rowland were partner in funding the reconstruction of the former Civic Center. The original facade was left standing.
Now let’s begin our tour by visiting the Capitol Theater. The are four performance halls inside the OC. We had a quick peek inside, rehearsals we going on for a show that took place later. The hallway outside of the auditorium was beautiful!
We also went under the stage to see the trap doors the performers sometimes dropped through.
We also got to see some of the dressing rooms and Green Room for performers and crew to take a break. There is a book where cast and crew can sign too. Jerry Seinfeld was here in January!
Next was the Rotunda Studio, great to have a wedding reception or large party in.
We came upstairs into sunlight to see the great view of the Capitol in the Promenade.
Another great room your party can rent is the Wisconsin Studio. See all the areas you can reserve for your use here.
While we are downstairs, we visited the Rotunda Stage, directly below the dome skylight.
Promenade Hall has hosted many events. Plenty of room for a small orchestra up front.
And the most exciting part was the finale of our tour. The largest performance auditorium of all (seats 2255), The Overture Hall, had just finished the show going on while we were there (heard them under the stage!) and we were allowed to go in and take a look! Quite a beautiful place, and the large pipe organ is a sight to behold!
We had a fantastic tour, thanks Dawn and Ann! The fun doesn’t stop here though. Our tour concluded with at the time capsule, to be opened in 2056. We hope we are there to see it opened.
When you visit, get your picture taken at their very own photo booth. They give you a print on the spot and send it in an email too. A great memento of your visit!
Since the Overture Center is a non-profit agency, they have many means to raise funds and have quite a few sponsors. Their main fundraiser is Art Fair On/Off The Square in Mid-July. A chance for you to purchase art from artists around the country. We will be back soon! It looks just as pretty at night.
This was my first time attending this festival (Al couldn’t come) and also my first time going inside the Overture Center of the Arts. They are celebrating their 10th anniversary this year so it was high time.
The festival began at 10:30 in the morning, opening with Swiss Alphorns, played by two gentlemen from New Glarus. They sound like they are from Switzerland, and have played at this festival the entire 30 years. We also saw them in the Cheese Days in Monroe parade. Let’s listen in.
After that spellbinding performance, we enjoyed the Chinese Lion Dance, performed by the Zhong Yi Kung Fu Association.
Soon after that was a beautiful 45 minute performance by the UW Russian Folk Orchestra in the Capitol Theater. The Madison Russian School Children’s Choir also performed a cute cat song, sung in Russian!
Here is about half of their performance, including the cat song.
The last performance I saw was Sadira and the Riad Dance Company. I have been watching them at many festivals over the last 25 years or so.
They also had a photo booth and I couldn’t resist getting in on the act. My picture will become part of a large mosaic created to celebrate the Overture Center’s 10th anniversary.
It was a good time and I hope to go again next year. We have overlooked this fine facility for entertainment in our own city and plan on coming here more from now on. They also have a tour every Saturday at 11, except on days with special events. The Overture Center also runs Art Fair on the Square in July.