The Cincinnati Opera House and Music Hall

This article is a collaborative effort, crafted and edited by a team of dedicated professionals.

Contributors: Andranick Tanguiane, Fred Lerdahl,


The Cincinnati Opera House and Music Hall is a world-renowned venue that has been entertaining audiences for over 100 years.

The Cincinnati Opera House

The Cincinnati Opera House, also known as Music Hall, is a performance venue in Cincinnati, Ohio, United States. The 3,500-seat hall is the home of the Cincinnati Opera, the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra, and the May Festival Chorus. It is one of the few remaining structures in the city that was designed by architect Samuel Hannaford.


The Cincinnati Opera House is located in the heart of Downtown Cincinnati on the corner of Seventh and Elm Streets. The historic theatre opened its doors in 1858 and has since been home to a variety of musical performances, operas, ballets, Broadway shows, and more. The Opera House is within walking distance of many hotels, restaurants, and attractions, making it a convenient location for visitors to the city.


The Cincinnati Opera House is the fourth oldest professional opera company in the United States. The company was founded in Cincinnati, Ohio, in 1920 by Dr. Frank Van Der Stucken, an internationally known conductor who served as its first Music Director. The mission of the Opera house is to enrich lives through great opera.

Opera was first presented in Cincinnati in 1858 when a touring German company gave a series of performances at Pike’s Opera House. It would be another 62 years before Cincinnati saw its first professional production when, on June 6, 1920, Cincinnati Opera presented Weber’s Der Freischütz in German at the Hyperion Theatre on Central Parkway. Just two days later -June 8, 1920- another milestone was reached when the company’s auditorium, Music Hall, hosted its first performance: Verdi’s Aida conducted by Julius Rudel and starring Adele Addison and Richard Tucker.


The Mainstage Auditorium holds 3,517 people. There are 1,831 seats on the main floor and 1,686 seats in the balcony. The venue is handicap accessible and has 44 wheelchair spaces and 106 companion seats available.

The Music Hall

The Cincinnati Music Hall is a world-renowned concert and opera house located in Cincinnati, Ohio. The hall is the permanent home of the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra, the Cincinnati Opera, and the Cincinnati Pops Orchestra. The Music Hall also plays host to a variety of other musical performances, operas, and ballets throughout the year.


The Music Hall is located in the Over-the-Rhine neighborhood of Cincinnati, Ohio. The historic building is bounded by Elm Street, Walnut Street, 12th Street, and 14th Street.


The first Opera House in Cincinnati was opened on September 18, 1857. It was located on the southwest corner of 8th and Vine streets. The cost of construction was $300,000 and it could seat 3,500 people. The Opera House was destroyed by fire on March 10, 1866.

A new Opera House was built on the same site and opened on December 11, 1867. The cost of construction for the new Opera House was $1 million and it could seat 5,000 people. The new Opera House had a stage that was 60 feet wide and 40 feet deep with 41 feet from the floor to the gridiron. There were 1,000 gas lamps that illuminated the auditorium and stage.

In 1878, the name of the Opera House was changed to Mosler’s Lyceum Theater. In 1880, it was renamedagain to Burnet’s Opera House. In 1886, it became Moore’s Academy of Music. And finally, in 1888 it became Peck’s Cincinnati Music Hall


The 3,516-seat Music Hall opened in 1878 and is the perfect setting for opera, ballet, concerts, and touring Broadway shows. It is the home of the Cincinnati Opera and Cincinnati Ballet. The hall features a grand staircase, and three tiers of seating that surround the stage on four sides.

The Orchestra level has 1,200 seats, the Mezzanine level has 816 seats, and the Balcony level has 1,500 seats. There are also six private boxes on the Orchestra level that seat up to four people each.

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