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The Halls

Introduction
The Great Hall  |  Odeon  |  Oratorio  |   Jewel Box  |  Music Salon

THE GREAT HALL    

Drawing inspiration from the illustrious palaces, liturgical spaces, and banquet halls of Europe, the Great Hall sets the stage for a variety of events.  Seating 800 to 1000, the Great Hall is the largest of the five halls and provides performance layouts for large-ensemble music, Hollywood Golden Age film, gala banquets and balls, important speaking engagements, international conferences, and personal celebrations.   

For the Listener
It is an unforgettable experience to hear a truly superb performance.  Just as a great performance requires superior artistry, it also requires good acoustics and an inviting performance space.  ConstellationCenter considers superior acoustics to be just as important as any other instrument contributing to a performance and has engaged Arup Acoustics to research the acoustics of the greatest halls of North America and Europe.  As a result, ConstellationCenter will have some of the best acoustics of any performance space in the world.

As critical as acoustics are to the Great Hall’s design, architectural brilliance is also critical – the eyes have a significant effect on what the ears hear.  Attention to architectural elements, such as lighting and molding finishes will be of primary concern in the design process.  One lighting option may be a modern replication of the golden, flickering glow historically provided by beeswax candles.

ConstellationCenter’s design incorporates other amenities for the audience, such as comfortable and supportive seating, clear seat number designation, and accessibility.

For the Presenter
The Great Hall’s design includes balconies, changeable stages, and movable and removable seats, giving presenters the option of using more than forty performance mode configurations and seating from just a few to 1000 audience members with a wide range of price points and headcounts.

Because of this versatility, optimal conditions can be achieved for a range of performances, such as medieval chant, Gabrieli polychoral pieces, Bach cantatas, Haydn symphonies, Strauss waltzes, Big Band jazz, Pierre Boulez’s new music, experimental student work form Boston’s renowned conservatories, Shakespearean plays, and modern dance.  The Great Hall will also accommodate banquets and receptions for events such as fundraising galas and wedding receptions. 

Featured Organs
Not only does the Great Hall have potential for music, theater and dance, but imagine watching The Birth of a Nation, or Charlie Chaplin dancing the infamous “baguette ballet” in The Gold Rush with the accompaniment of ConstellationCenter’s WurliTzer theater organ.  The celebrated Paradise/Brown organ built in 1928, one of only three five-manual theater organs made in the movie palace era, is arguably the finest surviving example of the instrument used to accompany the classic “silent” movies.  With the organ’s signature ability to simulate many orchestral sounds and sound effects, films of the “silver screen” come alive in the mode first intended for their viewing.  In addition, the Great Hall offers viewing conditions optimal for silent movies and talkies, films dating from 1915 to 1953.  

The Great Hall also features the only authentically reproduced Bach organ outside Eastern Europe.  Built specifically for ConstellationCenter by Taylor and Boody Organbuilders, and paid for by the generous support of the Ellis L. Phillips Foundation, the organ construction is based on the remaining Hildebrandt organs, especially those located in Naumburg and Störmthal, Germany. 

 

Interior shot of
Katholische Hofkirche,
Dresden, Germany

Detail of Paradise/Brown
theater organ

Detail of Paradise/Brown
theater organ

The Great Hall

Acoustical model of
Great Hall

43 Thorndike Street
Suite 301
Cambridge, MA
02141
Tel 617.939.1900 Fax 617.939.0190