by Elsa Kim
After closing for seven months, the Oakland Metro Operahouse reopened last Friday in a converted warehouse only three blocks away from its former home near Jack London Square. Tom Dean, General and Artistic Director of the Oakland Opera says, "We've been selling out all operas at the old space since 2003, so it allows us to seat everyone who wants to come to the show now." Now that the venue has doubled in size, the operas along with the popular poetry slam and vaudeville show Tourettes Without Regrets can accommodate many more people. While the new Operahouse will feature only four to six rock concerts per month for the next three months, Dean says that after the next opera goes up at the end of October, the venue will transition to "operating at full speed." Sticking with what made the space popular as a rock venue in the first place, the Operahouse is dedicated to allowing all ages all the time and running the same eclectic programming. And with the venue's increased size, it can bring in national acts -- which Dean says he hopes to do. Although the venue hasn't moved far, the new location offers some distinct perks: "For one, it's nice not being next to the porn palace," Dean says. Also, along with the Ironworks Building across the street, 630 3rd St. may soon become a new arts hub for Oakland. According to Sarah May, property manager at Metrovation -- the company that owns both Ironworks and the Metro's new digs -- two other art-related venues will also be moving in. For a schedule of events at the Oakland Metro Operahouse, check its website or MySpace.