Opera House Singing The Blues After Ceiling Collapse

The Thomaston Opera House was forced to cancel an evening performance Saturday after a portion of the plaster ceiling fell in sometime in the morning.  No one was injured, according to an Opera House spokesperson.

An organist, who was in the Opera House around 8:30 a.m., discovered the crumbling ceiling, according to Sharon Wilcox, Director of Productions and Marketing. 

The Opera House canceled a Piano Series with Joseph Kalichstein that had been scheduled for Saturday evening.

The facility is a historic site in Thomaston, Connecticut.  It was built in 1884.

Saturday's incident was not the first time for problems with the ceiling.  Decay was noticed in 2003 when the first four-foot section of the plaster ceiling came down.  The ceiling was later determined structurally safe, according to Wilcox.  Additional safeguards were put in place at that time.  Wilcox said the ceiling has been inspected every two years.

Over the summer, the arts facility was forced to cancel a weekend of Beauty and the Beast after a water sprinkler main flooded the main stage. 

The Thomaston Opera House has a five-phase restoration plan to both restore and expand the Opera House to its original space.  It has completed the first phase and is trying to secure funds for the second, Wilcox said.  The second phase is set for early 2009, and does include plans to rebuild and restore the interior.  Restoration of the ceiling is part of that plan, according to the release from the Opera House.

A building inspector was called Saturday for an evaluation following the ceiling accident.  The Opera House will remain closed until repairs are made. 

Ticket holders were asked to call the box office for information about rescheduling and refunds.  The Opera House was also seeking donations to help with the restoration.

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