Her Majesty's Theatre
Building From 1705
In 1705 Vanbrugh completed the Queen's Theatre, named in honour of Queen Anne, which quickly became informally known as the Haymarket Opera House (not to be confused with the Theatre Royal Haymarket / Haymarket Theatre nor with the Royal Opera House in Covent Garden). On the accession of George I in 1714 it became the King's Theatre and now formally changes names depending on the gender of the monarch. Initially it was not a success because of its terrible acoustics and in 1709 it was turned over to Italian opera. It was here that Handel produced 'Rinaldo', his first opera in England. After a fire in 1789 the theatre was rebuilt. See Little Whig and Kitt Catt for the strange story of the original foundation stones. In 1816-18 Nash and George Repton made alterations to the building which included the addition of the Arcade on the west side. The current theatre, designed by C.J. Phipps in 1897 for Herbert Tree, is the fourth on the site.
In 1948, the Government of New Zealand leased the site comprising the bombed rubble of the Carlton Hotel, Her Majesty's Theatre and the Royal Opera Arcade. New Zealand House, built on the site of the Carlton Hotel, was opened in 1963.