A major construction milestone was achieved at the Newport Opera House Theater & Performing Arts Center with the construction of the expanded stage. Combining the historic architecture of the theater with state-of-the-art technology and features, the stage will accommodate all art forms and heralds a new era for live performance in Newport as a “world-class performing arts venue”, according to a news release from the Newport Opera House Theater & Performing Arts Center.

The expanded stage now measures 30ft deep by 40ft wide, with steel beams undergirding the extension. In addition, the new stage area includes an orchestra pit, a lift accommodating three levels of elevation providing for additional seating or performance space, and an under stage crossover tunnel for performers.

To document construction milestones such as the completion of the stage, the Newport Opera House Theater has launched a video series, entitled “Building to Opening Night.” The latest episodes, titled “The Story Behind the Stage” and “The Stage Takes Shape,” gives viewers a behind-the-scenes look at the work involved and the intent behind the transformation. ­

Many world-class performers who have visited the Newport Opera House Theater have remarked on the beauty and uniqueness of the space and look forward to the programming possibilities here – including Managing Director of Palm Beach Opera, David Walker, and Director of Artistic Operations, Scott Guzielek; Newport Folk Festival headliner Wilco; internationally renowned opera and theater directors Christopher and David Alden; New York City Ballet violinist Helen Strilec-Schatiloff; Grammy Award-winning pianist Michael Lewin; and many more.

Speaking to the Associated Press, Curt Columbus, artistic director for Providence’s Trinity Repertory Company, is already looking forward to staging performances at the Opera House Theater: “It’s its own unique space, and we adapt to unique space. That’s what my acting company does. So it’s a perfect fit for us…the bones of it are so beautiful, so you can imagine what that space is going to look like finished, that’s what exciting to me.”

The Newport Opera House Theater & Performing Arts Center is preparing to open for its 150th anniversary in Summer 2018.

For more information, visit www.operahouseri.org.

Ryan Belmore is the Owner and Publisher of What'sUpNewp. Although not the founder or original owner, Belmore has been with What'sUpNewp since its early beginnings in 2012.

Belmore was born in Providence, Rhode Island; grew up and graduated high school in Coventry, Rhode Island; and lived in Newport, Rhode Island for more than ten years. He currently serves as Vice President of the Board Of Directors for Fort Adams Trust and on the Board of Directors for Potter League For Animals.

He and his wife, Jen, as well as their two dogs (Aero and June), recently moved to Alexandria, Virginia. Belmore travels back and forth to Newport every couple of weeks to cover events, work on story ideas, to meet with What'sUpNewp's on-the-ground contributors, to visit friends, and to eat as much seafood as possible.

Belmore is a member of Local Independent Online News Publishers, Society of Professional Journalists, and the North American Snowsports Journalists Association.