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I was invited to a recital about a month back. Well after choking back the laughter and sniggers I (humbly) agreed to go. So off we went to the Bridgewater Hall in Manchester. The Prestigious venue is situated off Deansgate, near Manchester town hall and overlooks the GMEX centre on one side and the re-developed canal basin on the other. Since its opening in 1996, the Bridgewater Hall has become a significant part of Manchester’s modern landscape as well as evolving into an international attraction. Back in ’96, it was the first major civic construction project in Manchester for over 60 years and is another step in the quest for Manchester to be recognised as a cultural and commercial centre of international repute. I don’t know of anyone that has been there and has failed to be impressed by the sight of the Bridgewater Hall. It is truly stunning. Given that most people travel regularly and see wonderful sights around the world, this is high praise indeed for Manchester. Nothing is without a price of course. In this case, £42 million will buy you a state-of-the-art concert hall, which boasts a 2340 seat auditorium! In order to justify these immense building and maintenance costs, the Hall must appeal to a wide audience in terms of tastes and wallets! Like all good venues, the Bridgewater Hall hosts Community Workshops and exhibitions, Jazz, Comedy, Classical Pieces and Easy Listening stuff such as Barry Manillow! The Bridgewater Hall is: The home of The Halle Orchestra - Britain's longest established professional symphony orchestra. The Halle present around 130 concerts a year in Manchester and around the globe. A performing base for the BBC Philharmonic Orchestra - Last night of the proms etc. The home of Manchester Camerata - The leading chamber orchestra of the NorthWest. As you would expect in such a venue, the sound quality was amazing. The music filled th
e room and seemed to come from everywhere and no where at once (maybe you had to be there, maybe it was the medication!?)Acoustic superiority is due to the way that the Bridgewater Hall was constructed; it was built entirely on springs (this ensures that performances are not affected by vibrations from nearby traffic). The focus of the Bridgewater Hall is the organ. It is truly a sight to behold! It was hand crafted in Denmark and took nearly 2 years to build and assemble. All for a measly £1.2. The impressive erection is over 42 feet high by 45 feet wide and weighs a sturdy 22 tons. Despite being overawed by its magnificence, I can’t forget though that one another level; the Bridgewater Hall in Manchester is also a symbol of wanton extravagance. There is a “piece of art” out front named The Ishinki Touchstone in reality all it is a huge smoothed pebble. A huge that pebble that cost us £200,000! That certainly is NOT music to my ears. Have we really paid £42 million pounds to hear to hear some bloke in a penguin suit play the piano or some bird reach notes so high that she breaks your glasses? Undoubtedly some people will prefer Kareoke. Bridgewater Hall, Manchester, Greater Manchester, M2 3WS. Tel: +44 (0)161 907 9000. Car Parking and adequate disabled access. Prices and times will vary.