A STANDING ovation and rousing cheers were part of the re-opening celebration night for Scarborough’s refurbished Spa Grand Hall.
The prestigious booking for the event was the Bolshoi Symphony Orchestra which is on a 18-venue tour of the UK this month.
The new, enlarged and versatile stage, and the newly-refloored hall swooned to the sounds of the Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy as part of The Nutcracker by Tchaikovsky, and the duet from his opera Eugene Onegin, conducted by Alexei Stepanov.
The curtain-raiser was delivered with magnificent ease by the orchestra, and baritone Andrei Grigoriev and soloists Dinara Alieva earned great applause. The long-awaited, multi-million refurbishment is expected to be completed in the next five or six weeks, with the final removal of the exterior building huts. A fire in a mini-bar area meant last-minute preparations by Spa staff to rebuild it and their efforts were praised by Cllr Derek Bastiman, who opened the re-launch night.
The Spa will then be able to focus on more entertainments and conferences.
The renovations were welcomed by 75-year-old John Nelson, who enjoyed a front row seat. Retired lecturer Mr Nelson, of the Esplanade, Scarborough, said: “I like it, It like it very much. I liked the old one too but I also think this one is very good.”
Mr Nelson, who normally entends the Spa Orchestra concerts, which re-start on May 31, added: “Although there is no long bar now, the small bar is more intimate.”
The event was attended by mayor Hazel Lynskey, who she lost her seat in the local elections. A council spokesperson aid Mrs Lynskey will continue in the role for a short while until the new mayor Cllr John Blackburn takes over, although she cannot vote on any matters or sit on committees.