La Scala di Milano, Italy
The world’s most famous opera house, renowned for its exquisite acoustics, was built in 1778 with four tiers of boxes. Several opera greats such as Rossini, Verdi and others called it home.
Teatro di San Carlo Napoli, Italy
Adorned in red and gold, the oldest working opera house in the world, built by King Charles of Bourbon, was inaugurated in 1737.
Teatro Colon, Buenos Aires, Argentina
Completed in 1908, it has hosted the greatest artists and some of the best performances.
The Royal Opera House, London, England
Located in Convent Garden, its long-standing tradition in opera dates back to the 18th century. Some of George Handel’s works have been specifically composed to be performed at the Royal Opera. In the last few years, the third Royal Opera building has opened its doors to mainstream pop and rock as well.
The Bolshoi, Moscow, Russia
One of the most important theatres in Russia, with one of the top symphony orchestras in the world, has survived fire, war, and revolution! The impressive exterior hints to the luxurious interior with its five galleries and 18th-century seats. The Bolshoi is at the moment under full renovation and is due to reopen to the public by March 2009.
Sydney Opera House, Australia
Sydney’s impressive contemporary opera house, dominates the city’s harbor evoking images of successive shells and sails. Different types of wood paneling have been used in various halls for aesthetic and acoustic purposes.
Paris Opera, Paris, France
The imposing building with the elaborate dome was built in 1875. Inside, the style reflects the era of the Second French Empire while in 1962, Marc Chagall designed new frescos.
Opera Royal Versailles, France
Part of the opulent Versailles, it was built in 1769 on the occasion of the wedding of Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette. The royal opera breaks away from the Italian standards, with its two galleries and colonnades seemingly extending into infinity.
Vienna Staatsoper, Vienna, Austria
Inaugurated in 1869, it is considered to be the center of the Viennese musical scene. A large part was destroyed by an Allied bombing in 1945 but the grand staircase and other parts remained miraculously untouched.
Teatro Amazonas, Manaus, Brazil
The wealthy “rubber-barons” built in the heart of the Amazon River the rival awe of the great European opera houses, sparing no expense in fixtures and detail.