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a life in architecture

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janie dee

Janie Dee is currently starring in the Gershwin musical My One and Only at London's Piccadilly Theatre - the show has received glowing reviews. In her busy round of singing, dancing and acting, Dee nonetheless found time to reflect on her favourite buildings.

She loves the Royal Opera House in Covent Garden (pictured): 'It's beautiful.'The building also has personal associations for her, having been part of her life both before and after its recent renovation.Of the old Edward Middleton Barry building, she remembers: 'I went and saw a rehearsal with Nureyev and Fonteyn when I was 11.And the Olivier Awards party was held there in 2000, when I won the Best Actress award for my role in Alan Ayckbourn's Comic Potential.'

In his Buildings of England entry on the Opera House, Pevsner writes that it is 'placed with such wondrous disregard of decorum right next to the Floral Hall'- also by E M Barry, and now incorporated in Dixon.Jones' reworked building.

Outside the UK, Dee plumps for the US and Italy. She loves the interior of New York's Grand Central Station - 'so proud and airy'- and the huge Neo-Classical Post Office building on Eighth Avenue. In Italy, she names St Peter's, with its dome by Michelangelo, and - also in Rome - the massive circular interior of the Emperor Hadrian's Pantheon, lit only by an opening at the centre of its dome.

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