Virginia City’s historic opera house | Silver State Sights Episode 43

Its name, could be considered misleading.

“It’s an opera house but there really weren’t a lot of operas here,” said special events coordinator Whitney Brunson.

Still, it has quite a history.

Located on the corner of B and Union streets, Pipers Opera House may not be home to many operas, but ever since the days when German immigrant John Piper founded it, it has been hosting a wide variety of different things.

“All of the great acts of the day all performed at the opera house,” said Bucket of Blood Saloon owner Marshall McBride. “And with the efforts of restoration and preservation of the day it continues to be utilized.”

Plenty of the history of the opera house is on display in the lobby, but it’s a history that has been restored.

“1875 the great fire destroyed the first opera house down on D street,” Brunson explained. “But with all of the money from the gold and the silver coming in on the Comstock they were able to rebuild in 6 months.

One man who once frequented the opera house, was the most famous man to live in Virginia City – Mark Twain.

“He came here to mine,” said Brunson. “But he didn’t do so well in that so he went to the paper, and would give lectures and speeches in the opera house.”

If you want to check it out you can visit their website to find out about upcoming performances, or take the self-guided tour during business hours.


Author: Rich