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Sunday, 13 November 2016

Opera house

The first opera houses were built in the mid seventeenth century in Italy, starting in 1637 in Venice, about thirty years after the first operas were written.

In 1697, Pope Innocent XII ordered the Tor di Nona opera house in Rome to be burned to the ground after hearing of immoral behaviour there.

The Paris opera one of the great opera companies of the world, is descended from the Académie de l'Opéra, which opened on March 3, 1671 on a converted tennis court.

The Paris Opera was the primary opera company during the mid-19th century, when its artistic policies molded the conception of grand opera.

Today, the Paris Opera mainly produces operas at its modern 2700-seat theatre Opéra Bastille which opened in 1989, and ballets and some classical operas at the older 1970-seat Palais Garnier which was commissioned by Napoleon III and inaugurated on January 5, 1875.

The Palais Garnier opera house hall, Paris
The Palais Garnier measures 269ft — nearly twice as high as the Statue of Liberty — from Apollo’s Lyre on its dome to the underground lake, a tributary of the Seine, in the catacombs beneath the stage.

The Phantom of the Opera was originally written by Gaston Leroux in 1909 and partly inspired by the legend there was a ballerina’s skeleton uncovered in the Palais Garnier.

The Real Teatro di San Carlo (Royal Theatre of Saint Charles), known today as simply the Teatro di San Carlo, is an opera house in Naples, Italy. It is located adjacent to the central Piazza del Plebiscito, and connected to the Royal Palace. The Teatro di San Carlo is the oldest continuously active venue for public opera in the world, opening on November 4, 1737.

Real Teatro di San Carlo Wikipedia Commons

On February 13, 1816 a fire broke out during a dress-rehearsal for a ballet performance at the Teatro di San Carlo and quickly spread to destroy part of the building. On the orders of Bourbon monarch King Ferdinand IV, the opera house was rebuilt within ten months. It was rebuilt as a traditional horseshoe-shaped auditorium with 1,444 seats, and a proscenium, 33.5m wide and 30m high.

Milan's Teatro alla Scala, usually known as La Scala, is probably the most famous opera house in the world. The theater opened on August 3, 1778 and the first opera to be performed there was Salieri's Europa riconosciuta.

Interior of the La Scala opera house in 1900

Since 1778, La Scala in Milan has housed hundreds of premieres from some of the world's greatest composers - and it's still going strong today. Verdi's three most famous operas, Nabucco, Otello and Falstaff were all premiered there.

Richard Wagner designed Bayreuth Festspielhaus, an opera house made possible by the generosity of King Ludwig II of Bavaria. The composer wished to have a building, which would meet his extravagant musico-dramatic ideals.

Bayreuth Festspielhaus By Rico Neitzel - Wikipedia

Friedrich Nietzsche was once a friend of Richard Wagner and he lent his name to formation of Wagner societies throughout Germany to raise money to build the Bayreuth Festspielhaus or Bayreuth Festival Theatre.

The building was first opened for the premiere of the complete four-opera cycle of Der Ring des Nibelungen (The Ring of the Nibelung), from August 13-17, 1876.

Richard Wagner Festspielhaus am Grünen Hügel in Bayreuth. By Rico Neitzel 

Every summer, Wagner's operas are performed at the Festspielhaus during the month-long Richard Wagner Festival, commonly known as the Bayreuth Festival.

The original Metropolitan Opera House held its grand opening in New York City on October 22, 1883. The first performance was Faust, by Charles Gounod. The theater was demolished in 1967 and replaced by a 40-story office tower, 1411 Broadway, which was intended to provide a steady income for the  the Metropolitan Opera Company.

After 15 years of construction, the Sydney Opera House was dedicated by Queen Elizabeth II on October 20, 1973.

The Sydney Opera House at dusk.

The Sydney Opera House is covered in triple-glazed ceramic tiles which make it self-cleaning.

If all the sails of the Sydney Opera House roof were combined, they would create a perfect sphere. The architect was inspired while eating an orange.

The Sydney Opera House has 6,225 square metres of glass and 645 kilometres of electric cable.

There's an opera house on the USA and Canada border where the stage is in one country and half the audience is in another.

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