If you wish to experience opera in all its old world charm and glory, there is nowhere else for it than the birth place of opera, Italy. Some of the opera houses of Italy date back to the Middle Ages, but have been retained to preserve all their eternal and timeless enchantment. The live performance of opera in one of these opera houses is an ethereal experience that can enthrall even the harshest critic of this classic art form.
An opera time in Italy begins from October and extends to April or March with alfresco performances being held during summer season. Almost every major Italian city has an opera house, a fact that bears testimony to the deep and abiding link between this ageless art form and Italy. Now, let’s traverse through some famous opera houses of this enchanting country.
Teatro Alla Scala
Any study of the history of Italian opera should begin at Teatro Alla Scala, the famous opera house of Milan. The creation of the famous Giuseppe Piermarini, the theater originally started in the year 1778. It witnessed some of the most renowned operas of the world. The second World War left its scars on this grant edifice. A year after the war, it was reopened and once again regained its reputation as one of the premier houses of Italian opera. The present façade is the result of another extensive renovation in 2004.
Teatro La Fenice
Venetian homage to opera is the Teatro La Fenice which has virtually mirrored its namesake the Phoenix with the theatre being twice gutted by fire in its more than 230 years of history. Both the times it was reborn with more beauty to enchant the world of opera. A recent restoration has added to the timeless quality of La Fenice.
Teatro San Carlo
From Venice to Naples, we have reached the opera house in Italy, the Teatro San Carlo, which is the oldest one. It was established in 1737 and was the birth place of ballet which was performed during the breaks between the opera performances. Even today the theater holds opera, short comic and ballet performances.
Palermo in Sicily has the unique distinction of having one of the most excellent and foremost opera houses in Europe, the Teatro Massimo. The commencement of Palermo’s famous belle époque can be traced back to the opening of the Massimo in 1897. The opera house still stages some of the best in opera, music and ballet.
Teatro Comunale di Bologna
The city of Bologna houses one of the oldest opera houses in Italy, the Teatro Comunale di Bologna. The theatre is a breathtaking tribute to eighteenth century baroque-style architecture and is situated in the center of the historic district of Bologna. It offers its services to opera, symphony and ballet performances.
Teatro Regio di Parma – Teatro Verdi
The Teatro Regio di Parma – Teatro Verdi is Parma’s contribution to opera. This theatre, constructed in the year 1829, follows the neo-classical architectural style and is decorated in rich stucco and golden designs. Opera, drama, dance and concerts are held even today. The theater also hosts special events.
Teatro Verdi di Pisa
The city of Pisa houses not just the Leaning Tower. It is also the location of Teatro Verdi, famed as magnificent and breathtaking theaters ever in the central part of Italy. This 900-seater structure was opened to the public in 1867. The impressive fresco that adorns the ceiling of the theatre is as grandiose as the performances that are staged under it.
Teatro Regio Torino
And now we have reached the city of Turin to visit the Famous Teatro Regio Torino inside Piazza Castello. Originally constructed in the 19th century, the theater got demolished in a fire in the year 1936. It was rebuilt in 1973 and presently is very popular for its opera performances, musicals and plays.
Teatro dell’opera di Roma
The breathtaking Rome has another enticing treat to its credit, the classy Teatro dell’opera di Roma. The theater has been the setting for many depictions of this classical art form. The season of summer is famous for the amazing opera performances under the star studded sky of the Baths of Caracalla.
When in Italy, take some time out to catch an opera performance in one of these ageless wonders to understand the true essence of opera.