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Last Updated: Friday, 26 November, 2004, 22:12 GMT
Have Your Say - Wales Millennium Centre
Wales Millennium Centre
One donor gave £10m towards the building
The Wales Millennium Centre opened to the public on 26 November after over a decade of plans, arguments, new plans and funding wrangles.

The building, nicknamed the "armadillo" by some locals, has cost a total of £106m, and has attempted to represent the country at large by using materials from around Wales in its construction.

It provides a new home for seven arts companies, including the Welsh National Opera, the Welsh youth organisation Urdd Gobaith Cymraeg, Diversions Dance Company and disabled therapists the Touch Trust.

The building provoked controversy early on after a design for an opera house submitted through an international competition by architect Zaha Hadid was rejected amid accusations of elitism.

So is the centre worth it? See below for a selection of your comments. This Have Your Say is now closed.

Your second page of comments:


A cultural symbol that we should all be proud of - as we are proud of our Millennium Stadium. I really hope its a big success story that puts our nation on the map.
Paul, Pembrokeshire

One word... PARKING. It's bad enough when theres a game on in the Millenium Stadium, but if theres a game AND an event in the Millenium Centre, life in the Bay is gonna be cramped.
Ollie, Cardiff Bay, Practically next door to the Armadillo

A lot of people moan about the architecture of this new building but people in Sydney moaned about their Opera House when it was built.
Chris Stevens, Newport, South Wales

Yet another example of the North/south divide. I'm sure it's a very nice building and I'm sure it would be a great experience to go and see it. However when am I realistically going to be able to go down to Cardiff? More attention should be paid to other areas of Wales. For example, areas that aren't Cardiff.
Mat, Rhyl, Wales

Another great day for Wales. So what if the Millenium Centre is four hours travel time from North Wales. London's attractions are four hours away from most northen English towns, so why should those few Gogs moan about Cardiff hogging the limelight.
Richard Jones, Rhyl, North Wales

It's stunning. Anything that did not draw such mixed and strong opinion would be bland and forgettable. This is architecture as it should be - wish I could say the same for the rest of the bay development.
Ian Jones,

A lot of people moan about the architecture of this new building but people in Sydney moaned about their Opera House when it was built. Soon I think it will be as famous and as loved as this other building.
Chris Stevens, Newport, South Wales

I think the Wales Millennium Centre looks fabulous. I used to work in Cardiff Bay and watched its development. I hope it will be a success.
Margaret Abbett, Swansea

What a shame, another truly ugly building for Cardiff - a real tombstone! If only the city had the conviction, ambition and vision to go with Zaha Hadid's building.
Owain, South Wales and London

I was born and grew up in Wales, 40 years ago. Things like this make it more possible that I might consider moving back one day. The Welsh National Opera are great - it's great that they have a proper home now. And £106m wasn't bad - what did Royal Opera House cost again? Well done Wales!
Daniel, Antwerp Belgium

A wonderful building aptly reflecting the Welsh landscape. I am sure the efforts to make this building open to all lovers of performance and art will confound those that label it a symbol of elitism.
Helen Newman, Cardiff

It looks like an earwig with lights.
Lena, Cardiff

One way in which Wales can emerge from the provincial, drab backwater which many perceive it to be is to have public utilities which make a positive, dramatic statement: the Millennium Stadium and the Millennium Centre are two such.
J Jenkins, Bath, UK

As architecture goes, I much preferred Zaha Hadid's elegant and spacious design for an opera house. As an arts centre goes, it's and absolutely fabulous world-class venue. A great place for people from everywhere to enjoy and to be proud of.
Martyn Richard Jones, Cordoba, Spain

I think it's a lovely building and if it can really attract regular shows from some of the top companies that usually play in London or New York then all the better. However, I wonder if Cardiff can find enough people interested enough to fill the place for long? I wonder also what will now happen to The New Theatre, St. Davids Hall and other such venues in sattelite town like Pontypridd and Bridgend?
A much better investment for the city would be to improve rail links with surrounding areas, bring more people into the city centre who don't bother at the moment due to problems and cost of parking, then worry about how to entertain them when they get there. Get the people in first.
Ieuan johns, Port Talbot

It looks like an earwig with lights.
Lena, Cardiff, UK

If I have to read one more sour-mouthed comment on here about how the WMC is 'only for the elite' and 'I couldn't possibly afford to go' I'll tear my hair out! Do you know that you can get a good seat at almost any production (including the 'elitist' opera) for a fiver? No of course you didn't, because you're too insular and bigoted to even bother to inform yourselves! Spend your fiver on the latest Hollywood trash or down the pub if you like, I know where I'd rather spend mine.
Janee, Cardiff, Wales

Yet again, Cardiff gets all the money spent on it while the rest of Wales gets nothing.
S Brown, Rhondda Fach

This time tomorrow this ugly building will be open and a day nearer the day when it runs out of money like the Welsh Garden down the road and the people running it will pop next door to ask Rhodri to bail them out?
Dai Welsh

mmm - terrific, but by train Flint-London 2hrs 34min, Flint-Cardiff 4hrs 12min. Maybe it would have been better built in London (and the National Assembly building too!)
Tim, Mold, Flintshire

What a wonderful use of space- cant wait to see inside.
Tirion, Cardiff

Very impressive. I look forward to visiting. Regrettably, its downfall may be the consequence of the Welsh peoples¿ failure to embrace it. Why cannot the Welsh people celebrate what they have instead of decrying it as is evident from the comments of many readers here?
David, New York, New York, USA

Speaking as an outsider (Yorkshire), I'm flabbergasted by the astonishing parochialism displayed by some Welsh folk from outside Cardiff on this thread. Whinging that this magnificent centre has nothing to do with them or moaning on about buses - have you any idea how embarrassingly backward you sound? Were you never planning to visit your capital at all? Some people don't deserve a cultural vision!
Good luck to all fine Welsh folk who take this wonderful looking place to their hearts.
David Allison, Leeds, UK

As an ex-Butetown resident I would just like to say to the small minds of Wales please start thinking outside of the box. If you want Cardiff and Wales to be taken seriously we need to begin to think bigger, beyond the borders of our small nation and look to what else is around us. It is up to the people of Cardiff and the rest of Wales to make the WMC a success, so stop criticising and go out and buy a ticket. Having looked on the WMC website, ticket prices are more than reasonable and the variety of shows on offer easily rivals that of London's West End. Have fun!
Mark, London (ex Butetown)

Yet again, Cardiff gets all the money spent on it while the rest of Wales gets nothing.
S Brown, Rhondda Fach

A mediocre and unimaginative building. Desperately trying to look exciting by being clad in all manner of strange materials - very tacky. Cardiff has missed a golden opportunity to have a world class building by Zaha Hadid - one befitting to its world class reputation in music and the arts.
Anon, London

I think its brilliant!! It's up to us - the people of Wales, and our guests to make it a success, and I'm sure it will be. I'm certainly not elitist and am looking forward to my first taste of culture
Julian Fowler, Cardiff

It looks great. Remember that most Australians hated the Sydney Opera house at first. Given all the complaints about parking, I trust the-powers-that-be will ensure first-class public transport links to get us there. See, even the Welsh can be optimistic ...
Phil Tucker, Swansea

Love the way it changes colour. I hope they can let in children free of charge for some of the performances then we may have a cultured future generation who will fully appreciate it.
John Sullivan, Dinas Powis

Having visited Cardiff recently, this building puts Cardiff on the European map as a progressive, exciting city for culture and inward investment. Stunning!
Adrian Lennon, Belfast, NI

A very exciting building and the interior looks great. I am hoping it will replace the London Coliseum in quality opera productions, as Cardiff is much easier to access than London. Good luck
Jean Noble, Exeter, UK

A beautiful structure and a cultural symbol that is inherently Welsh.
Steve, London

You lucky people in Cardiff. My background is entertainment and I wish we could have had a building like this in my home town of Warrington. It would have been a major attraction for the north west as yours is going to be for the whole of Wales and west Country. Hope to see it some time.
George Swindells, Ta' L-Ibrag, Malta

I am an ex-pat and when I have travelled home to see my parents in Cardiff recently my wife and I have marvelled at the beauty of the new Millennium Centre. However, when St David's Hall cannot sell out concerts the type of which will be hosted at the Millennium Centre I fear for its financial viability. Plus the fact the opening concert is on the same night as a rugby international also shows that Cardiff forgets that it isn't as big a city as it likes to think it is - a little chaos perhaps?
Anthony James, Dorchester, England

Beautiful, wonderful, and stately. But if it needs 70% attendance, including matinees, to break even, then the emergency financial restructuring should begin right now. Like the Millennium Some showed, one mustn't make radical predictions on an utterly untested quantity. Better to take it on the nose now, and openly make a realistic package, than Cardiff suffer the drawn-out shame of bleeding money and begging for state funding for decades, which would make it look as though it was Cardiff and not a delusional bean-counter, who failed.
Jonathan Meldrum, Baldock, UK

Cardiff didn't want the Welsh Assembly, now the Welsh Assembly will have to pay £3 million a year to keep Cardiff's latest attraction open.
Peter, South Wales

So Michael Brown thinks Wales is a "Wales is a predominantly uncultured place". Is this man living on another planet? Wales is one of the most cultural rich places in Europe. We have a worldwide reputation for music and the arts - not to mention a cultural heritage which predates medieval times. The eisteddfod is Europe's oldest surviving and largest cultural festival to this day. Perhaps this man should emigrate?
Pete Rogers, Swansea, Wales

I think you will find that people do visit Cardiff, I'm from London and I visit Cardiff any chance i can. It's an amazing city and there are facilities for everyone. As for the centre I'm going in the New Year and I'm recommending it to all my family and friends
Michael O'Neill, London

The architect of centre should be commended for it's design. It's imaginative. And although I have only seen it in pictures and read about it, I think I would like to see it person! It's a monument to the people of Wales.
Wally Palka, Thunder Bay, Canada

It is interesting that most of the people who gripe about the cost of the centre forget that the majority of this money was paid to the local firms who have designed, built and fitted out the building. I can't wait to go and see a performance. The front of the building is truly magnificent but what was the architect thinking in specifying 'shed' cladding for the rear? It looks cheap and horrible.
Nick, Cardiff

The architect of centre should be commended for it's design. It's imaginative. And although I have only seen it in pictures and read about it, I think I would like to see it person! It's a monument to the people of Wales
Wally Palka, Thunder Bay, Canada

This is great for Wales - La Traviata, the Kirov Ballet and Miss Saigon - WOW - we now can see this for £2.60 return on the bus and under £10 for a show - we have an opportunity to experience the arts without spending a few hundred pounds to go to London - what else encouragement do you need....
Tania , Cardiff

I think its brilliant!! It's up to us - the people of Wales, and our guests to make it a success, and I'm sure it will be. I'm certainly not elitist and am looking forward to my first taste of culture!
Julian Fowler, Cardiff

The WMC faces a challenging early life as it struggles to establish an unfamiliar image for Wales - as an outward-looking hot house of international culture and talent. Let's hope the skin of the "armadillo" is thick enough to repel the slings and arrows of those small minds who celebrated when Cardiff blew its chances of being the first capital to add a Zaha Hadid-designed building to its skyline. Any success which the centre achieves will be well deserved, but will have to fly in the face of those - many in Wales' media and political life - who fear ideas which challenge their insular view of the world and Wales' place in it.
Nick, Cardiff

Brian Matthews, Wrexham - So would you also like Cardiff to be called the 'Capital of South Wales' because it's too far away to be the capital for north Wales? It makes far more sense to have it here rather than a rural area only accessible to a few.
Simon A, Cardiff, Wales

A very nice building. However, I am an OAP and will never be able to afford to attend. The money would have been better spent on the NHS as Jane Hutt isn't doing anything to help. Along with the assembly building how much more money are we going to see wasted? What next? A holiday home for Tony Blair.? Come on Wales wake up to reality and spend the money on something worthwhile.
Keith Hitchcock, Nelson, Treharris

I assume the 'other' Wales will be subsidising yet another South Wales luxury. Let South Wales go independent before they bankrupt true Wales.
Tom, Wrexham

Anything that puts Wales on the map is a fantastic idea. After all Cardiff is a fantastic place to visit.
Michael Kimpson, W-S-M, England

Wales has a new voice through which to enjoy its music and song so let's all sit back and enjoy it, what a pleasure.
Clive Jones, Rochdale

Whilst congratulations are due for completing the centre, the sad fact is that this building should never have been built, as Zaha Hadid's winning competition scheme should already have stood on the site. Wales continues to diminish in a world view, due to an attitude of anxious parochialism.
Richard, London

I agree with the comments above that the capital city has had more than its fair share of the cake recently - but that's true about any capital city - can you imagine the English placing their new National Stadium outside London or would the Millennium Dome have gone anywhere else? The fact is Wales is a very small country and we need a capital city to be proud of - the WMC helps in this respect. But, after this project is complete the WAG (Welsh Assembly Government) needs to get its act together and sort out the NHS in Wales and transport - A470, crappy train and bus services and the rest of Wales needs to benefit from the massive investment put into the bay.! I was in Cardiff last weekend and I love the look of the WMC - I just hope the tickets prices are not excessive otherwise I am not willing to spend 2 1/2 hours travelling down the A470 from Aber and pay £50 to see an opera etc...
Iwan, Aberystwyth

Wales has a new voice through which to enjoy its music and song so let's all sit back and enjoy it, what a pleasure.
Clive Jones, Rochdale

From a raised view the design looks like an upturned boat !!
Chris Peake, Cardiff

It's fantastic - beautiful and visionary.
Gareth, Barry, Wales

Waste of public money it should have been spent on hospitals and new dentist services. It's not for the Welsh poorer people - its only for the rich think on what about the sick and poor of which most of west Wales is as this present moment in time
Janet Morris, Newcastle Emlyn/ West Wales

The Millennium Centre is a wonderful addition to Cardiff's cultural scene. I've watched it growing over the past two years and wait with excitement to the world class performances it will be able to host. Cardiff should be proud of itself for investing in culture to this extent.
Christopher, London

Great, super, fantastic. wonderful. Perhaps we could have a little hut built in North Wales?
John M Spicer, Llandudno

The WMC provides Wales with a space and a stage for its international, forward-looking identity. The usual 'this could have spent on the NHS' culture-bashing argument has no grounds- it was funded by money specifically allocated to the arts. Llongyfarchiadau i bawb a wnaeth sefydlu'r WMC!(Congratulations to everyone who established WMC!)It's an inspiring, beautiful and tactile symbol of Wales's past, present and future.
Sarah, Carmarthen, Cymru

Absolutely beautiful - Cardiff just gets better and better every time I visit!
David, Bristol

The photo of the entrance looks like a huge mouth, suggesting a new take: visitors will be consumed by culture rather than consumers of culture. It looks like an amazing structure and the theatre interior is impressive. What a focal point for Cardiff! Any big city would be proud to have this as one of its architectural and cultural features.
Sue B, Barcelona, Spain

We are the youngest European capital. Why shouldn't we have a world-class venue? I think the building is stunning. We deserve this - our future generations deserve this. So get off your behinds - get some culture, take in a show and get a bus
Xavier , Cardiff

A white elephant, an ugly monstrosity. Its box office organisation will have to sell tickets to the value of almost £1,000 every single day just to break even.
Mal Evans, Cardiff, Wales.

Absolutely beautiful - Cardiff just gets better and better every time I visit!
David, Bristol

As a city Cardiff is a hot spot for thriving music, arts and other entertainment. It's always been there. It is venues such as the Wales Millennium Centre that are part of sustaining and maintaining this essential infrastructure, whereby all this talent throughout Wales and beyond, can be seen, heard and appreciated all around the world. A perfect soundboard!
Brian Sweeny, Cardiff

As an expat I was proud to see the Wales Millennium Centre on TV. However, it seemed obvious to me that you had a present, and potentially disastrous future presentation problem ! As a 'Green' supporter I love trees and their beauty as much as anyone.( in the correct setting) But it was clear on the TV that even from their most flattering viewpoint the centre was disappointedly shrouded by young sapling trees on camera and not able to take full advantage of showing off what is a stunning building. Even in your website photo I see that you have had to peer close up through the saplings to get a good view of the frontage. A far cry from the impressive distance view of the Sydney Opera house which could easily be rivalled by the Millennium Centre if only you re-sited the saplings more favourably ? Goodness knows what a shambles the view will be as the trees continue to grow ? Just a caring thought! I know that what takes place inside is the most important! So good luck ! and best wishes. See you soon. Philip
E.P.Prentice, Aberdeen, Scotland


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