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1 .Hello, and welcome to Focus on the Arts.
2 .I'm your host-Dave Green-and this is your very own local radio programme.
3 .Every Friday evening we put the spotlight on different arts and culture facilities, and look at the shows and events that are on offer in the coming week.
1 .And today the focus is on The National Arts Centre.
2 .Now, if you don't already know it yourself, I'm sure you've all heard of it.
3 .It's famous throughout the world as one of the major venues for classical music.
1 .But did you know that it is actually much more than just a place to hear concerts?
2 .The Centre itself is a huge complex that caters for a great range of arts.
3 .Under a single roof it houses concert rooms, theatres, cinemas, art galleries and a wonderful public library, as well as service facilities including three restaurants and a bookshop.
4 .So at any one time, the choice of entertainment there is simply enormous.
1 .So, how did they manage to build such a big arts complex right in the heart of the city?
2 .Well, the area was completely destroyed by bombs during the war in 1940.
3 .So the opportunity was taken to create a cultural centre that would be, what they called: 'the City's gift to the Nation'.
4 .Of course it took a while for such a big project to get started, but it was planned in the 60s, built in the 70s and eventually opened to the public in 1983.
5 .Ever since then it has proved to be a great success.
6 .It is not privately owned, like many arts centres, but is still in public hands-it's run by the City Council.
7 .Both our National Symphony Orchestra and National Theatre Company were involved in the planning of the project, and they are now based there-giving regular performances every week-and as the Centre is open 363 days of the year, there are plenty of performances to choose from.
1 .So, to give you some idea of what's on, and to help you choose from the many possibilities, we've made a selection of the star attractions.
1 .If you're interested in classical music, then we recommend you go along to the National on either Monday or Tuesday evening at 7.30 for a spectacular production of The Magic Flute -probably the most popular of all Mozart's operas.
2 .It's in the Garden Hall and tickets start at only ￡8.00, but you'll have to be early if you want to get them that cheap!
3 .And remember, it's only on for those two evenings.
1 .For those more interested in the cinema, you might like to see the new Canadian film which is showing on Wednesday evening at 8pm in Cinema 2.
2 .And that's called Three Lives.
3 .It's had fantastic reviews and tickets cost just ￡4.50, which is a reduction on the usual price of ￡5.50.
4 .So, it's really good value, especially for such a great movie.
1 .But you can see the centre's main attraction at the weekend, because on Saturday and Sunday, 11 am to 10 pm, they're showing a wonderful new exhibition that hasn't been seen anywhere else in Europe yet.
2 .It's a collection of Chinese Art called Faces of China-that's in Gallery 1-and it has some really fascinating paintings and sculptures by leading artists from all over China-and the good news is that it is completely free, so don't miss it!
1 .So why not go along to the National Arts Centre next week for one-or all of these great events-and you can always pick up a programme and check out all the other performances and exhibitions on offer, or coming soon, on almost every day of the year.
1 .Next week we'll be looking at the new Museum of Science...