When you are designing an opera house, you need to take into consideration not only the seating arrangements and the acoustics but the overall aesthetics of the building. Because of this, the world houses many opera houses that are not only amazing places to see an opera in, but are also stunning buildings in themselves as well. Here are a few of the most gorgeous opera houses.
Also known as Estates Theatre, it is one of the oldest opera houses in Europe that is still operating, being more than 200 years old. It is here in Prague, that Mozart himself conducted the premiere of his piece Don Giovanni. To honor Mozart, while filming the movie Amadeus, there were scenes that were shot inside the theatre to make the film more genuine. The blue, red, and gold of the interior also welcomed Giuseppe Verdi at one point. If you are even in Prague, see if you can catch a show here.
Sydney Opera House
We can’t talk about opera houses without mentioning one that has reached a meme-like status for its extravagant design. It was opened in 1973 and has become a UNESCO heritage site and fans of the opera can catch plays, operas, and ballets at this venue. It was designed by an architect from Denmark, Jørn Utzon, and it hosts around 1,500 performances every year.
Arguably the most famous opera house in the world, La Scala was designed by Giuseppe Piermarini and housed Salieri’s L’Europa riconosciuta for its first performance. It even features a museum where you can see the history of the building and the stories of some of the opera legends that have performed there. When it was opened in 1778, it was known as Nuovo Regio Ducale Teatro alla Scala. The theatre gets its name from Santa Maria alla Scala, the church that was previously set on the location. There was a need for a new theatre after the previous one was destroyed in a fire in 1776.
This is the most famous opera house in Russia. It managed to stand tall in spite of many calamities that happened to it and around it, including a fire, an invasion, and the revolution. It originally allowed only Russian composers to present their work, though others were welcomed less than two decades after its inception. It was opened in 1776.
Palau de Les Arts Reina Sofía
While most theatres here can boast about some 200+ years of history, this is one of those that if young. Interestingly enough, Palau de les Arts Reina Sofía is not only the tallest theatre in Valencia but in the world as well. It was designed to look like a helmet of the Spanish conquistadors and its first performance was Fidelio by Beethoven in 2006. It was designed by Santiago Calatrava, an architect that was born in Valencia.
The Metropolitan Opera House
There are very few Americans who have not heard of The Met. The Lincoln Centre for the Performing Arts houses the Metropolitan Opera and has been doing so since 1883. It is the largest organization dedicated to opera in North America, but let’s talk more about the building itself.
The plans for the building were laid out as early as the 1920s, but the financial struggles of the country postponed is construction several times. Wallace Harrison, the architect of the Lincoln Centre, was selected to design the building. It was the last of the three large Lincoln Centre’s buildings to be constructed. The modernist building has around 3,800 seats and was opened in 1966 with the performance of Samuel Barber’s Antony and Cleopatra.