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  • image SM Adam volume 28/20

Reference number

SM Adam volume 28/20


[19] Design for the auditorium, with a view towards the stage, c1789, unexecuted


Axial section of the auditorium, with a view towards the stage, and of flanking wings to the east and west. The four-storey auditorium has a hipped roof, and stepped access to a level beneath the stage. There are three tiers of boxes set behind columnar screens, with tapering herms in the third tier. In the fourth tier there are raked benches forming galleries, and the Royal box is within the first tier to the east. All four tiers have access passageways to the east and west. The proscenium has a frieze of festoons, and the stage has a barrel-vaulted, coffered ceiling, articulated by Corinthian colonnades to the east and west. At the rear of the stage there is an archway, flanked by Corinthian pilasters and niches containing statuary, with a frieze of swags. Beyond this there is a barrel-vaulted passage leading to the rotunda (south) entrance, with a portico surmounted by a dome and spire. To the east of the auditorium there is a section of a three-storey wing. At the first-storey level there is a central, tripartite, semi-circular-headed mirror frame, with a four-legged sofa surmounted by a royal coat of arms and reclining figures in front. This is flanked by entrances with semi-circular over doors containing peltoid shields crossed with swords. Above this there is a further room with a fireplace. The wing to the west has a hipped roof, and at the ground-storey level there is a central corridor, flanked by rooms containing fireplaces. At the first-storey level there is a central entrance set behind a balustraded, Tuscan screen, set within an apse, and this is flanked by further doorways with figurative panels above. In the upper storey there is a further room containing a fireplace


to a scale


Opera House Section / View towards the Stage (in the hand of William Adam)

Signed and dated

  • c1789

Medium and dimensions

Pen, pencil, wash and coloured washes including Naples yellow and pink on laid paper (754 x 506)


Office hand, possibly Robert Morison or Daniel Robertson, with title inscription in the hand of William Adam




Bolton, 1922, Volume II, Index p. 40
Sheppard, 1960, Volume XXIX, (i), p. 249
For a full list of literature references see scheme notes.



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