Malta’s National Theatre has launched its concluded restorations, which spanned over a year. The restorations – which were part-financed by the European Regional Development Fund (80 per cent EU and 20 per cent national funds) – include the installation of a new ventilation and acclimatisation system, the rehabilitation of the roof, and new designer seating.

The ventilation and acclimatisation system operates by passing either hot or cold water (depending on the desired temperature) through the ceiling and flooring which will keep constant temperatures, humidity levels and preferred air quality throughout the year, while at the same time limiting the generation of air currents and noise inside the theatre.

This will improve the acoustics of the theatre and its versatility in use. The system will operate around the clock, avoiding drastic changes in temperature levels, which would otherwise result in damage to the beautiful woodwork and priceless paintings of the theatre.

The state-of-the-art system was built using the latest technology available on the market, custom-made specifically for Teatru Manoel, making it energy efficient and environmentally friendly. The new HVAC system will in turn allow the audience to be more comfortable during shows.

The flooring has been upgraded from ceramic to wood, which will give better acoustics when the orchestra and opera perform. The project will make the setting more comfortable for the audience and performers, while enhancing their overall experience at the theatre due to better sound quality.

The new seating was designed in consonance with the theatre’s baroque style, and was changed to better suit the theatre and patrons alike. The new seating system eliminates the central aisle and is also installed offset, giving a much better view of the stage. The previous seats were installed about 30 years ago.

The project also included the rehabilitation of the theatre’s roof, with the main intervention being the installing of steel trusses as support for the new ventilation system.

“I invite you to visit the theatre, to appreciate the architecture while enjoying one of our performances, scheduled between September and June, or on a morning tour inside the auditorium and our famous boxes,” said Teatru Manoel’s CEO Elizabeth Ebejer.

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