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(AT&T Performing Arts Center) Designed by Foster + Partners under Pritzker Prize-winning architect Norman Foster, the Margot and Bill Winspear Opera House will be engineered specifically for performances of opera and musical theatre with its stages equipped for performances of ballet and other forms of dance. A 21st century reinterpretation of the traditional "horseshoe" opera house, the Winspear Opera House's principal performance space, the Margaret McDermott Performance Hall, will seat 2,200 (with capacity up to 2,300) and will feature retractable screens, a spacious fly-tower and variable acoustics. The Winspear Opera House will also include the Nancy Hamon Education and Recital Hall, a space that can be used for smaller performances seating audiences up to 200, as well as classes, rehearsals, meetings and events. The Winspear Opera House will provide state-of-the-art performance spaces for The Dallas Opera, Texas Ballet Theater, traveling Broadway productions, and numerous other performing arts organizations and touring productions that serve Dallas and the surrounding areas. The opera house's principal entrance features the 60-foot Annette and Harold Simmons Signature Glass FaÃ§ade that wraps three-quarters of the way around the building, creating a transparency between the opera house and the surrounding Performance Park. The transparent faÃ§ade provides dramatic views of the Margaret McDermott Performance Hall, which will be clad in vibrant red glass panels. From within the Winspear Opera House, the Simmons Glass FaÃ§ade provides a sweeping view of the skyscrapers of downtown Dallas that line the northern edge of the Performance Park. To enhance the connection with the Park, an 84-foot wide section of the glass faÃ§ade will be retractable to a height of 23 feet, literally opening up the Grand Lobby, Cafe and Box Circle-level restaurant to Sammons Park. Radiating from the Winspear Opera House on all sides, the sky canopy will provide shade over three acres of the Sammons Park, creating new outdoor spaces for visitors to gather and relax. The glass solar canopy's louvers will be arranged at fixed angles following the path of the sun, calculated to provide optimal shade for the outdoor spaces throughout the day, as well as preventing direct sunlight from hitting the Simmons Glass FaÃ§ade during the warmest months of summer.
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