Opera Houses Around the World
Teatro alla Scala, Milan
Capacity – 2,030
Also known as the La Scala, it is one of the leading opera houses in the world.
It was constructed between 1776 and 1778 by Empress Maria Theresa of Austria.
The opera house hosted a rendition of Antonio Salieri’s Europa Riconosciuta on its opening night on August 3, 1778.
Some of the best-known personalities of the opera world, including Bellini, Donizetti, Verdi, and Bellini, earned fame here.
The neoclassical structure has near-perfect acoustics.
Bolshoi Theatre, Moscow
Capacity – 800
It is one of the most stunning opera houses in the world.
The current building was constructed between 1821 and 1824 after the earlier Petrovka Theatre and New Arbat Imperial Theatre were destroyed.
It has hosted some of the best Russian operas.
The Bolshoi is best known for beautiful tapestries, grand chandelier, intricate paintings, and tiered balconies.
Antonina Nezhdanova, Leonid Sobinov, and Galina Vishnevskaya are among the best-known opera artists who have performed here.
It underwent a major renovation between 2005 and 2011 but opened with a greatly diminished capacity.
Palais Garnier, Paris
Capacity – 1,979
The Palais Garnier, home to the Paris Opera, is called “masterpiece of the first rank”.
Built between 1861 and 1875, the Palais Garnier acquired its current name after its popular architect, Charles Garnier.
The Beaux-Arts building of the opera house is as stunning as the ceiling mural painted by Chagall, the grand staircase, the roof sculptures, and the aristocratic auditorium.
Palais Garnier is the venue for some of the best operas in the world.
It is also the setting for the popular 1910 novel The Phantom of the Opera.
Royal Opera House, London
Capacity – 2,256
Located at the prestigious Covent Garden, London’s Royal Opera House is known for breathtaking interiors.
The present opera house is the third at this location.
It has a facade and a foyer dating back to 1858.
This neoclassical structure underwent a complete renovation in the 1990s.
In 1734, Theatre Royal, as it was then called, hosted its first ballet.
It has hosted many popular operas (including Handel’s early operas) and artists such as
Luciano Pavarotti and Placido Domingo.
Sydney Opera House, Sydney
Capacity – 6,000
The Sydney Opera House is one of the most iconic landmarks of this Australian city.
This UNESCO World Heritage Site is also one of the most distinctive structures of the modern world.
The singularly Expressionist architecture, unique shape, and modern settings make this opera house a favorite.
Built between 1959 and 1973, the Sydney Opera House has five theaters and is home to the Opera Australia.
The first opera hosted here was Sergei Prokofiev’s War and Peace on September 28, 1973.
Metropolitan Opera, New York City
Capacity – 3,800
The Metropolitan Opera House is part of the Lincoln Center for Performing Arts of New York City. it was first founded in 1880.
It was constructed between 1963 and 1966 and opened on April 11, 1966 to a performance of La Fanciulla del West.
It is one of the world’s most stylishly done up and technologically advanced opera stages.
It has hosted concerts by singers such as Barbra Streisand and Paul McCartney.
The fan-shaped auditorium is decked up in gold and burgundy and known for its excellent acoustics.
Teatro Colon, Buenos Aires
Teatro Colon or the Columbus Theatre is one of the main opera houses in the world and has perfect acoustics according to Pavarotti.
It took about 20 years to be constructed and opened in 1908 with Verdi’s Aida.
Its magnificent architecture, red gold interiors, and French stained glass windows make it a masterpiece.
Made of Italian marble and Venetian mosaic, the Teatro Colon is the pride of Argentina.
The opera house is believed to have its own sets and costumes departments and has hosted legendary opera performances.
Vienna Staatsoper, Vienna
Capacity: 1,709 (seated), 567 (standing)
The Vienna State Opera or the Vienna Staatsoper is a classic example of Renaissance Revival architecture.
Built between 1810 and 1869, the State Opera is one of the most lavish and stately opera houses you are likely to see.
It opened to Mozart’s Don Giovanni in 1869.
Each year, it hosts an annual state ball along with the Vienna Philharmonic.
The opera house was rebuilt after it was bombed during the World War II.
When it reopened, the foyer and grand staircase had been retained.
Hungarian State Opera House, Budapest
Commissioned by Austro-Hungarian Emperor Franz Joseph I in 1875, this beautiful neo-Renaissance structure was opened to the public in 1884.
The architectural design of this theater is its biggest highlight.
It houses sculptures of famous Hungarian composers Ferenc Erkel and Franz Liszt.
The interiors of the building have marble columns representing muses and a grand chandelier.
It is one of the most beautiful structures in Europe.
This famous theater has witnessed performances of famous personalities including Gustav Mahler.
Teatro la Fenice, Venice
Teatro La Fenice means the Phoenix Theatre.
The interiors of the opera house are breathtakingly beautiful.
A major fire in 1774 burned down a Venetian theater called the San Benedetto Theatre.
The second theater was also burned down in 1836.
Just like the phoenix in its name, the Teatro La Fenice was rebuilt on December 26, 1837.
It has been closely associated with some of the most famous opera personalities known to the world such as Giuseppe Verdi and Gioachino Rossini.
The theater was redone and reopened in 2004 after it was destroyed by fire and arson.