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The Susie Sainsbury Theatre and Angela Burgess Recital Hall

Philanthropy News - Posted on 05.06.2019

We look back at the first year of the Susie Sainsbury Theatre and Angela Burgess Recital Hall, which were officially opened in Spring 2018.

Spring 2018

In February and March 2018, the Academy celebrated the formal opening of the new Susie Sainsbury Theatre and Angela Burgess Recital Hall.

The response from students, audiences and the industry has been phenomenal. Within a year of opening, the theatre and recital hall housed 124 external performances, welcomed a Gramophone Award-winner for a major commercial recording, garnered praise from the national press and leading theatre directors and won several national architecture awards. None of this would have been possible without the support of generous donors like you.

In March, Jonathan Dove’s Flight was performed by Royal Academy Opera – the first major production to take place in the new theatre.

In late April the production of This is the Hour took place. Students performed iconic numbers from Claude-Michel Schönberg’s most famous musicals, and his appointment as Visiting Professor of Musical Theatre was formally announced.

Summer 2018

In July 2018 Musical Theatre students graduated in the Susie Sainsbury Theatre, in a ceremony featuring a keynote speech by Imelda Staunton CBE, Hon RAM.

By summer 2018, the theatre and recital hall had already collected numerous awards, including the 2018 RIBA London Building of the Year, a 2018 RIBA National Award, the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) Tourism and Leisure Award 2018 and Architects’ Journal Retrofit of the Year.

Autumn 2018

In November, Royal Academy Opera staged Semele. The production, directed by Olivia Fuchs and conducted by Laurence Cummings, was a sell-out, with positive reviews from Opera Today, Bachtrack (4 stars), Seen and Heard and Classical Source. Watch our Facebook livestream of the performance.

Spring 2019

In February the Royal Academy of Music’s Junior Academy, Rambert School and RADA Youth Company collaborated on a production of The Soldier’s Tale, featuring young artists aged 16 to 18.   

In March, Royal Academy Opera students performed a double bill of Iolanta and L’enfant et les sortilèges.

Thanks to the generous support of donors like you, the Susie Sainsbury Theatre and Angela Burgess Recital Hall now provide world-class facilities for our students, replicating professional performance conditions year-round. They provide space for outreach and community activities, and cutting-edge technology for recordings – all because of you.

Thank you.

(Image credits: 1. Adam Scott 2. Robert Workman 3. Marc Brenner 4. Frances Marshall 5. Adam Scott 6. Robert Workman 7. Gigi Giannella 8. Robert Workman 9. Adam Scott)

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