To really feel the opera, it is very important to start your acquaintance with this genre with the correct formulation in a good place. Our list of the best opera scenes in the world will be interesting both to those who are just starting their acquaintance with the world of opera and to those who have already listened to the whole repertoire of the Bolshoi and want something new.
1. La Scala, Milan
One of the most famous theaters in the world, La Scala, brought the opera to a whole new level and made it the main art of Italy of 19-20 centuries. It was here that the premieres of Turandot and Madame Butterfly Puccini, Nabucco and Falstaff of Verdi took place. The theater owes its fame to conductor Arturo Toscanini, who worked in it at the beginning of the 20th century. Not everyone knows that the original neoclassical building, built-in 1778 during World War II, was destroyed, and in 1946 it was recreated according to original drawings. Today on the theater stage one can see both classical productions and bright, unusual works of directors from all over the world. You can join the high art for quite a reasonable fee – the cheapest tickets cost 20 euros, you need to buy them for several months on the official website of the theater.
2. Grand Opera, Paris
The Paris Grand Opera, better known by the name of its architect Charles Garnier, was built in 1875. This magnificent, richly decorated building is considered one of the main attractions of the French capital. Inside the Opera Garnier looks no less luxurious than the outside: the ceiling is decorated with frescoes, and the ceiling in the hall was painted in 1965 by Marc Chagall. Connoisseurs appreciate the Parisian opera as a technical base – it is believed that the light and sound equipment is almost the best in the world. Tickets for the performances can be bought on the website, they are even cheaper than at the Bolshoi – from 10 to 250 euros. When buying, be careful, some of the productions are not in the palace of Garnier, but on another stage – in the Opera Bastille. Tickets go on sale about 6 months before the performance and are bought up at a speed of space.
3. Staatsoper, Vienna
The state opera has existed in Austria since the mid-17th century, but it only acquired its own pompous building in the capital in 1869. This theater gained worldwide fame at the beginning of the 20th century when the great composer and conductor Gustav Mahler became its artistic director. During the occupation of Austria, the opera was neglected, and in 1945, during the bombardment of Vienna, the old building was destroyed. It was restored only 10 years later, in 1955. The Viennese Opera is heavily tourist-oriented, so performances here give year-round almost every day. Tickets for ordinary performances are very affordable (the cheapest standing seats cost less than 5 euros) and you can buy them on the day of the presentation at the box office. It’s harder to get on a tour of outstanding performers and premieres, it’s better to book tickets in advance.
4. Metropolitan Opera, New York
The New York Metropolitan, perhaps, can be called the main opera stage of the world. The most stellar singers consider it an honor to perform in the Metropolitan, outstanding conductors work with the troupe, and every season there are world premieres here. Today, the Metropolitan Opera, or Met, as it is called for short, is located at the Lincoln Center with the New York Ballet, the Philharmonic, and two more theaters. The modern Met building was built in 1966, its foyer is decorated with frescoes by Marc Chagall, which serve as a means of raising funds – they are resold to patrons of art without changing the location. In Met, ticket prices are also not very high, except that buying them is rather difficult. For premieres and interesting productions, they often fly away right on the day they go on sale.
5. Sydney Opera House, Sydney
Famous Opera House, a business card not only of Sydney but throughout Australia, was built in 1977 by the project of the Danish architect Jorn Watson. In 2003, Watson received the Pritzker Prize for him, the equivalent of the Nobel Prize for Architects, and in 2007 the building was listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It took more than a million white ceramic tiles to create an original sail-like roof of the building, which is poured with different colors depending on the time of day and lighting. There are two stages in the building: one for opera and ballet, the other for concerts. Even if you do not dare to go to the show, visit at least a tour of the building – inside is also quite interesting. The tour costs $ 30, about the same is the cheapest ticket to the opera.
6. Arena di Verona, Verona
The surest way to fall in love with opera once and for all is to visit the Verona Opera Festival. The festival is held every year from June to August in the ancient amphitheater in the city center, the program mainly consists of classical Italian operas – Nabucco, Aida, Tosca, etc. In 1913, the famous tenor Giovanni Zenatello and his colleague saw the potential of the ancient Roman amphitheater and held the first festival here. Since then, all the productions on this stage have been distinguished by a special scale and invariably vivid and large-scale scenery, since space allows. Over the years, Maria Callas, Placido Domingo, Luciano Pavarotti, and Montserrat Caballe performed here. In the Verona, amphitheater can accommodate up to 15,000 spectators (earlier this figure was more, the number of seats recently reduced for security reasons), at night the area is lit by candles. In general, if you are not impressed by any of the productions at the Arena di Verona.