“Mumbai simply couldn’t forget its Royal Opera House—the ornate Baroque centenarian on Charni Road,” writes Lavanya Shanbhogue in Friday’s (5/17) Hindu Business Line (Chennai, India). “Its revival three years ago is an equally remarkable testimony to its lasting legacy.… In its refurbished avatar, the theatre has returned to its original identity as a cultural centre for all forms of art, rather than the stand-alone cinema hall it had turned into in the 1930s…. Since the relaunch, the heritage site has hosted everything from … sitar maestro Nishat Khan [to] Il Matrimonio Segreto … an opera by Italian composer Domenico Cimarosa…. The resurrected building has been included in the World Monuments Watch, a global non-profit … The Opera House received the ‘Royal’ prefix after it was inaugurated in 1911 by King George V…. Deepa Krishnan, an expert on sustainable tourism, says, … ‘Most believe heritage preservation is a pastime for the elite. They say that the average working Mumbaikar doesn’t care, because there are far more pressing day-to-day survival issues … My personal experience, though, is that … not only the elite but the working class of Mumbai also mourn the passing of old and beautiful edifices; any restoration is therefore welcome.’ ”

Posted May 22, 2019