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Top 10 Opera Houses and Theatres

Palau de les Arts Reina Sofia, Spain

Palau de les Arts Reina Sofia is an opera house and cultural centre in Valencia, Spain. It opened on 8 October 2005; its first opera staging was of Beethoven’s Fidelio on 25 October 2006. The building rises 14 stories above ground and includes three stories below ground, and height is 75 metres (246 ft), being the tallest opera house in the world. Under the expansive curved-roof structure, 230 m (755 ft) in length, the 40,000 m2 (431,000 sq ft) building contains four auditoriums. The Queen Sofía company promotes symphonic concerts, opera galas, and vocal recitals. The company also hosts the Centre de Perfeccionament Plácido Domingo, an advanced training program of international draw for young opera artists, named in honor of Plácido Domingo.

www.lesarts.com

Oslo Opera House, Norway

The Oslo Opera House is the home of The Norwegian National Opera and Ballet, and the national opera theatre in Norway. The building is situated in the Bjørvika neighborhood of central Oslo, at the head of the Oslofjord. It is operated by Statsbygg, the government agency which manages property for the Norwegian government. The structure contains 1,100 rooms in a total area of 38,500 m2 (414,000 sq ft). The main auditorium seats 1,364 seats and two other performance spaces that can seat 200 and 400. The main stage is 16 m (52 ft) wide and 40 m (130 ft) deep. The angled exterior surfaces of the building are covered with Italian marble and white granite and make it appear to rise from the water. It is the largest cultural building constructed in Norway since Nidarosdomen was completed circa 1300

https://operaen.no/

Opéra-Théâtre de Metz Métropole, France

The Opéra-Théatre de Metz Métropole is an 750-seat opera house and theatre located on the Petit-Saulcy island in Metz, capital of the Lorraine region, France. It is the oldest opera house working in France and one of the oldest in Europe. It is also one of the last possessing its own costume ateliers in France. The construction of the opera house extended from 1732 to 1752, the War of the Austrian Succession interrupting the works during 8 years. The neo-Classical building is finally inaugurated with a public ball on February 3, 1752. The duke of Belle-Isle described it as “one of the most beautiful France’s opera-theater” at his time, seating 1,382. The Metz Opera-Theater is fused in a unique Lorraine artistic pole with the National Opera of Lorraine. Today, the Opera-Theater features annually around sixty performances, including plays, choreographies, and lyric poetry.

http://opera.metzmetropole.fr/

Copenhagen Opera House, Denmark

The Copenhagen Opera House, usually called Operaen is the national opera house of Denmark, and among the most modern opera houses in the world. It is also one of the most expensive opera houses ever built. It is located on the island of Holmen in central Copenhagen. The Opera is located in Copenhagen just opposite the main castle Amalienborg at the shore of the harbor. The opera house is built in alignment with Amalienborg and The Marble Church, so that if one stands in the main entrance of the Opera, one can see the Marble Church over the water along the road through Amalienborg. The house is administered by the Royal Danish Theatre and is one of the best-equipped in the world. It has a main stage with five other stages directly connected, where large setups can be moved easily in and out. There are between 1492 and 1703 seats, depending on the size of the orchestra. The 1492 seats are all individually angled in order to provide the best experience.

Croatian National Theatre in Zagreb, Croatia

The Croatian National Theatre in Zagreb, commonly referred to as HNK Zagreb, is a theatre, opera and ballet house located in Zagreb, owned and operated by the Ministry of Culture. The theatre evolved out of the first city theatre built in 1836 housed in the present-day Old City Hall. The theatre was first established as the Croatian National Theatre in 1860, and in 1861 it gained government support putting it on par with many other European national theatres. In 1870 an opera company was added to the theatre and in 1895 it moved to the new purpose-built building on Marshal Tito Square in Zagreb’s Lower Town, where it is based today. Austro-Hungarian emperor Franz Joseph I was at the unveiling of this new building. The building itself was the project of famed Viennese architects Ferdinand Fellner and Herman Helmer, whose firm had built several theatres in Vienna. Celebrations marking the 100th anniversary of the building were held on October 14, 1995. At the entrance of the theatre is located the famed wall fountain The Source of Life, designed by Croatian artist and sculptor Ivan Meštrović in 1905.

www.hnk.hr

Sydney Opera House, Australia

The Sydney Opera House is a multi-venue performing arts centre in Sydney, New South Wales, Australia. It was conceived and largely built by Danish architect Jørn Utzon, opening in 1973 after a long gestation that had begun with his competition-winning design in 1957. Joseph Cahill’s New South Wales Governmentgave the go-ahead for work to begin in 1958. The government’s bold decision to select Utzon’s design is often overshadowed by the scandal that followed. The Sydney Opera House was made a UNESCO World Heritage Site on 28 June 2007. It is one of the 20th century’s most distinctive buildings and one of the most famous performing arts centres in the world. The Sydney Opera House is on Bennelong Point in Sydney Harbour, close to the Sydney Harbour Bridge. It sits at the northeastern tip of the Sydney central business district (the CBD), surrounded on three sides by the harbour (Sydney Cove and Farm Cove) and inland by the Royal Botanic Gardens.

www.sydneyoperahouse.com

Vienna State Opera, Austria

The Vienna State Opera (Wiener Staatsoper) is an opera house – and opera company – with a history dating back to the mid-19th century. It is located in the centre of Vienna, Austria. It was originally called the Vienna Court Opera (Wiener Hofoper). In 1920, with the replacement of the Habsburg Monarchy by the First Republic of Austria, it was renamed the Vienna State Opera. The members of the Vienna Philharmonic are recruited from its orchestra. The building was the first major building on the Vienna Ringstraße commissioned by the controversial Viennese “city expansion fund”. Work commenced on the building in 1861 and was completed in 1869, following plans drawn up by architects August Sicard von Sicardsburg and Eduard van der Nüll, who lived together in the 6.Bezirk. It was built in the Neo-Renaissance style. The Wiener Staatsoper is one of the busiest opera houses in the world producing 50 to 60 operas per year and ten ballet productions in approximately 300 performances. It is quite common to find a different opera being produced each day of a week. As such, the Staatsoper employs over 1000 people. The opera company operates a repertoire system: more than 50 productions are staged every year, and there is a performance nearly every day for ten months of the year.

La Scala, Italy

La Scala in Italian: Teatro alla Scala, is a world renowned opera house in Milan, Italy. The theatre was inaugurated on 3 August 1778 and was originally known as the New Royal-Ducal Theatre at La Scala (Nuovo Regio Ducale Teatro alla Scala). The premiere performance was Antonio Salieri’s Europa riconosciuta. Most of Italy’s greatest operatic artists, and many of the finest singers from around the world, have appeared at La Scala during the past 200 years. Today, the theatre is still recognised as one of the leading opera and ballet theatres in the world and is home to the La Scala Theatre Chorus,La Scala Theatre Ballet and La Scala Theatre Orchestra. The theatre also has an associate school, known as the La Scala Theatre Academy (Italian: Accademia Teatro alla Scala), which offers professional training in music, dance, stage craft and stage management. La Scala’s season traditionally opens on 7 December, Saint Ambrose’s Day, the feast day of Milan’s patron saint. All performances must end before midnight, and long operas start earlier in the evening when necessary.The Museo Teatrale alla Scala (La Scala Theatre Museum), accessible from the theatre’s foyer and a part of the house, contains a collection of paintings, drafts, statues, costumes, and other documents regarding La Scala’s and opera history in general. La Scala also hosts the Accademia d’Arti e Mestieri dello Spettacolo (Academy for the Performing Arts). Its goal is to train a new generation of young musicians, technical staff, and dancers (at the Scuola di Ballo del Teatro alla Scala, one of the Academy’s divisions).

www.teatroallascala.org

Liverpool Empire Theatre, England

Liverpool Empire Theatre is located on the corner of Lime Street and London Road in Liverpool, Merseyside, England. The theatre is the second to be built on the site, and was opened in 1925. It has the largest two-tier auditorium in Britain and can seat 2,350 people. During its time it has hosted many types of entertainment, including variety shows, musicals, operas, pop concerts, and plays. The Beatles appeared in the theatre in their early days. The theatre has hosted two Royal Command Performances and, in 2007, a Royal Variety Performance to mark Liverpool’s being designated a European City of Culture the following year. he entrance foyer is on the ground level, with stairs to the balcony on both sides of the foyer. The seats are raked both to the sides and to the rear in order to improve the lines of sight. The internal decoration is in Louis XVI style. It contains “many curious decorative features including carved elephant caryatids” The Empire Theatre continues to stage productions in various genres, including musicals, pop concerts, comedians, plays, opera, and wrestling. The theatre is reputed to be haunted by at least two ghosts, one a former painter at the theatre called Len, the other a girl aged about nine or ten in Victorian dress. As of 2011 the Empire is part of the Ambassador Theatre Group

Royal Opera House, England

The Royal Opera House is an opera house and major performing arts venue in Covent Garden,central London. The large building is often referred to as simply “Covent Garden”, after a previous use of the site of the opera house’s original construction in 1732. It is the home of The Royal Opera,The Royal Ballet, and the Orchestra of the Royal Opera House. Originally called the Theatre Royal, it served primarily as a playhouse for the first hundred years of its history. In 1734, the first ballet was presented. A year later, Handel’s first season of operas began. Many of his operas and oratorios were specifically written for Covent Garden and had their premieres there. The current building is the third theatre on the site following disastrous fires in 1808 and 1857. The façade, foyer, and auditorium date from 1858, but almost every other element of the present complex dates from an extensive reconstruction in the 1990s. The Royal Opera House seats 2,256 people and consists of four tiers of boxes and balconies and the amphitheatre gallery. The proscenium is 12.20 m wide and 14.80 m high. The main auditorium is a Grade 1 listed building.

www.roh.org.uk

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