Check out the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra's brand-new digs


St. Paul's Ordway Center for the Performing Arts is popping the champagne bottles over its new concert hall, which opened this weekend to quite the fanfare – and a ritzy Saturday night cocktail reception.

We weren't kidding about the champagne – the Star Tribune reports the bubbly flowed at Saturday's "glittery gala" in the lobby, where patrons also apparently enjoyed fancy hors d'oeuvres.

There was plenty of cause to celebrate. The paper says the concert hall helps inaugurate an era of prosperity for the Ordway, as it offers "more opportunities for programming."

The 1,100-seat space is the new home of the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra, according to a release on the orchestra's website.

The $42 million hall gives the audience a connection to the musicians "like never before," with no seat more than 90 feet away from the stage, Kare 11 reports.

The station notes that the new venue replaces the "much smaller" McKnight Theater, which was demolished to make way for the project.

The Ordway didn't stop at a cocktail party. On Sunday, a free ribbon-cutting ceremony and "open house" gave the public a chance to have a look around inside, according to the Pioneer Press.

Judging by the Ordway's Twitter feed, visitors seem to have enjoyed the "free performances," as well as the lush architecture of the space itself.

Missed the festivities? Not to worry. According to the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra's calendar, an "opening celebration" of the new digs is scheduled Thursday.

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