Since it’s opening on 27 November 1871, the Gaiety Theatre has remained true to the vision of its founders in presenting the highest quality musical and dramatic entertainment. As Dublin’s longest-established theatre in continuous production, the Gaiety triumphantly maintains its unrivalled presence as the city’s premier venue for popular musical shows, opera, ballet, dance and drama.
In 2007 the owners Denis and Caroline Desmond and the Arts Sports and Tourism Department of the Irish Government invested €10 million in the biggest restoration programme the Gaiety Theatre has seen in over 50 years. Included in this restoration was the replacement of the existing Auditorium chandelier. Billy Canning recall’s “The Historical significance of this great Irish Institution made this assignment quiet a challenge, the bulk of the restoration project involved ‘unseen aspects’ of this beautiful Theatre, however the replacement of the Auditorium Chandelier represented one of the few publicly visual aspects of this major refurbishment project, so I knew that with 1187 patrons viewing this piece nightly, it had to be spectacular, and yet complimentary to the architectural proportions and of this incredible space. I spent a lot of time soaking in the atmosphere of the Auditorium in moments when productions or rehearsals were not in progress, all the time sketching aspects of the space and details of the magnificent ceiling. I felt the design had to reflect the gaiety of the ‘Gaiety’ hence the 6 satellite Waterford Crystal Bowls on the diameter of the chandelier containing ‘dancing’ fountains of crystal.”
The piece consists of 5,404 individual Waterford Crystal pieces and took 6 weeks to complete, the wattage at full light is 3.1Kw and provides the primary lighting in the auditorium.
“As a designer one of the most rewarding aspects of your work is knowing that your design has fulfilled it’s brief and given the testimonials received from the client, and indeed the patrons of this great venue I am truly proud of this piece, and delighted to feel part of this iconic Theatre”
“Our beautiful Auditorium Chandelier designed and installed by Billy Canning in 2007, has created it’s own ‘Wow’ factor in the ongoing life of our famous Theatre.”
John Costigan, Managing Director, Gaiety Theatre