NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF) — Belmont is excited to debut its new Fisher Center for the Performing Arts to its students and to the public. It was about a three-year build, from start to finish.
"This is new, and it was built during COVID, so a lot of people don't even know it's here. It's an amazing, amazing facility," said Executive Director of the Fisher Center, Chaz Corzine.
"We refer to this as Belmont's largest classroom. It's about a 1,700-seat venue," Corzine said. "With Nashville truly being Music City, we felt that it deserved a building that was as grand as Nashville itself was."
The building is designed after traditional European opera houses and will have high-quality production value for a wide range of the performing arts — concerts, plays, operas, dance, musical theatre and other performances.
"It was built to be multifaceted. You could put almost any style of music in here. They've thought of just about everything," Corzine said. "You can actually tune the theater. The theater can be tuned from a 3.9-millisecond delay down to a 1.2-millisecond delay. What that means is you could put a violin on there, on that stage, and it's perfect. You could put a rock band on that stage and tune the room differently, and it's going to be perfect."
Not only will students be able to perform on the grand stage, but they will also be behind the scenes learning to run the show.
"Even when a theatrical production or a concert or something commercial in nature is in the building, it's an opportunity for the students to work in the building, learn many aspects of running a building — everything from ushers to managing," said Corzine. "This is an educational facility, so you'll see students at every aspect of it from load in to load out."
The space is huge — the fully open lobby is the length of a football field.
"We can seat as many as 900 for a seat at dinner in the lobby," said Corzine. "The beauty of the building is the versatility."
And the building takes its name from recently retired Belmont President Dr. Bob Fisher. The icons on the pillars in the lobby include tributes to Dr. Fisher, like bees to reference his beekeeping and roses to reference his wife's gardens.
In front of the building are sculptures of the Fishers along with a plaque commemorating all they have contributed to the university.
"In addition to being a major classroom, we look at it as Belmont's gift to Nashville. There's going to be unbelievable performances and things here that will be unique to this building," said Corzine. "I don't know that there's any other school in the country that has a facility like this that's dedicated to learning."