The majestic Royal Opera House may have bombed and destroyed in WWII, yet it remains a beloved ‘what if?’ in the minds and imaginations of so many Maltese.
One Maltese man has gone so far as to recreate what the Opera House would have looked like in 1935, using a graphics editor from Far Cry 5, a video game.
“I’ve always been interested in what it might have been like to visit the Royal Opera House in its heyday, but the handful of photos that exist only hint at what the building must have been like,” Matthew Pace, the designer, said.
“To get a better idea of the interior layout and opulence of the opera house, I gathered whatever photos and floor plans I could find, and began the process of recreating the building as it might have been circa 1935 using the fairly sophisticated editor in the Far Cry 5 video game,” he continued.
Pace said he pieced together the building using vintage pictures from the era as well as “pure guesswork”.
“The results are certainly not perfect, but it’s about as close as I could get with the tools at hand,” he said.
His renders have caused quite the stir among Maltese people, who described his work as “outstanding” and thanked him for giving people the opportunity to see the opera house in its glory, with others saying he should present the renders in Parliament.
The Royal Opera House was designed by English architect Edward Middelton Barry and was unveiled in 1866.
A neo-classical building in a Baroque city, it was directly hit during a bombing raid in 1942, during WW2.
In 2013, it was rebuilt into an open-air theatre and renamed Pjazza Teatru Rjal and redesigned by Renzo Piano. However, since then, it has remained underused by local artists, and in the recent budget for 2020, the government announced that it would be building a roof for the open-air theatre.
Photos: Matthew Pace