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Festival reveals the "Hidden City" of Philadelphia

Monday, March 23rd, 2009

A new festival this summer called Hidden City will highlight the lesser known historic sites around Philadelphia.

Driving north on Broad Street from City Hall, the enormous, shuttered Philadelphia Opera House building may have caught your eye. Inside, it’s full of dust but you can make out some elaborate detailing through the rubble. It was built in the early 20th century as a competitor to the Academy of Music by opera impresario, Oscar Hammerstein, grandfather of the famous lyricist. Thaddeus Squire is artistic director of Hidden City.

Squire: “The apocryphal, infamous story is the night he opened the Philadelphia Opera House, he was running a production of Aida, which was what the Met was running at the same time on South Broad Street. All the Philadelphia audiences left at intermission and walked up Broad Street to watch the second half at Hammerstein’s House.”

The festival will also bring dancers, musicians and other artists to perform in eight lesser known sites across the city this summer.

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