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Wales millennium centre

The meaning of «wales millennium centre»

Wales Millennium Centre (Welsh: Canolfan Mileniwm Cymru) is an arts centre located in the Cardiff Bay area of Cardiff, Wales. The site covers a total area of 4.7 acres (1.9 ha).[4] Phase 1 of the building was opened during the weekend of the 26–28 November 2004 and phase 2 opened on 22 January 2009 with an inaugural concert. The centre has hosted performances of opera, ballet, contemporary dance, theatre comedy, and musicals.

The Wales Millennium Centre comprises one large theatre and two smaller halls with shops, bars and restaurants. It houses the national orchestra and opera, dance, theatre and literature companies, a total of eight arts organisations in residence.[3]

The main theatre, the Donald Gordon Theatre, has 2,497 seats, the BBC Hoddinott Hall 350 and the Weston Studio Theatre 250.[5]

In 2001 Lord Rowe-Beddoe was appointed chairman of Wales Millennium Centre, a company limited by guarantee. Board members include Sir Michael Checkland.

The Wales Millennium Centre replaced an earlier project for the site, the Cardiff Bay Opera House, a plan supported by the Cardiff Bay Development Corporation to construct a permanent home for the Welsh National Opera.[6] The project failed to win financial support from the Millennium Commission, the body which distributed funds from the UK National Lottery.

An international design competition attracted 268 international applicants,[7] and was won by Iraq-born architect Zaha Hadid. Her avant-garde design was so radical that she and a selection of other applicants were asked to submit revised designs for a second round of competition[8]—which she again won[9] with "a sleek and dazzling complex of sharp lines and surfaces that she compared to an 'inverted necklace'".[10]

In December 1995, the Millennium Commission decided against lottery-money funding for the project.[10] It was suggested that the bid failed because of "the unpopular Conservative government's fear of controversy," favouring the funding of projects perceived as more populist, such as the Millennium Stadium.[11]

After the Cardiff Bay Opera House project was rejected, a new project was conceived that included more than opera and was felt to be a better reflection of Welsh culture. The change of name symbolised this, but the project still had to overcome many hurdles. Funding from the Welsh Assembly and Millennium Commission took years to obtain. Cardiff Council had to buy the land after the previous owners, Grosvenor Waterside (Associated British Ports property division) threatened to build a retail centre there due to the delays.[4][12] Further boosts were given by large donations from South African businessman Donald Gordon and a loan from the international bank, HSBC. The GB£20 million donation from Donald Gordon was split evenly between the Royal Opera House and Wales Millennium Centre and was spread over five years. This is believed to be the largest single private donation ever made to the arts in the UK.[13]

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