If we come to talk about cultural establishments, we cannot elude the image of the most exquisite opera houses around the world. Today we are going to talk about six of them that are absolutely breath-taking. Local, more modest, music venues may be comfy and great as well, but these grandiose ones are so awe-inspiring that they alone are worth visiting their harbouring cities for. So, without further ado, let us get down to business (wink)!
1. Sydney Opera House:
As you may have already guessed, Sydney’s Opera House (New South Wales, Australia) is one of the most famous around the world. Almost completely encircled by water, it nearly occupies the entire Bennelong Point of the Sydney Harbour. Renowned for its otherworldly yet modern design, the outer shell of the establishment was thought out by Danish master-architect Jørn Utzon. Designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2007, it has a seating capacity of over 5,700. Oh, and let us not forget about the Sydney Opera House Grand Organ, the world’s largest mechanical tracker action organ, boasting with over 10,000 pipes. Unmissable!
2. Vienna State Opera:
From Sydney we hop all the way to Austria, namely to its grandiose capital of Vienna. The Vienna State Opera is located in the centre of the city, becoming an inadvertent archetypal monolith dating back to the 19th century. Originally known as the Vienna Court Opera (Wiener Hofoper), the establishment has a total seating capacity of 1,709 plus around 567 standing (making up a total of 2,276). And if you think that the beauty of Vienna cannot get any better, remember that the opera house is responsible for the world-famous Vienna Opera Ball as well.
3. Metropolitan Opera House:
New York City is known for many a great thing but few can be compared to its scintillating Metropolitan Opera House (also known colloquially as The Met). Built between the years 1936 and 1966, it adheres to Modernist standards in terms of architecture. With a maximum seating capacity of 3,800, it is a worthy component of the Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts. Oh, and to link things together a bit, some of its chandeliers have been donated to it by the Vienna State Opera. You can find it at 30 Lincoln Center Plaza.
4. Royal Opera House:
We could not have created a list of the most unmissable artistic music venues without including the world-famous Royal Opera House of London. Located at Covent Garden, central London, it has a total capacity of 2,236. Harbouring the Royal Opera, the Royal Ballet, and the Orchestra of the Royal Opera House, the establishment was destroyed two times in 1808 and 1856 (fire). Yet this did not stop the locals from erecting this third incarnation and creating a masterpiece while they were at it. If you are interested in architectural intricacies, be sure to check out the renowned Bow Street Façade and the spiralling sky bridge that connects the Royal Ballet School to the Royal Opera House.
5. Bolshoi Theatre:
Russia enters the competition with its Moscow-based Bolshoi Theatre located at Teatralnaya Square 1, in the Tverskoy District. Designed by Italian-Russian neoclassical master architect Joseph Bové, the establishment was opened in 1825 (what’s interesting about its façade, for example, besides the fact that it adheres to the standards of the Neo-Classical style, is that it can be seen on any 100-ruble banknote). With a massive seating capacity of 2153, the pride of Moscow was extensively renovated between the years 2005 and 2011. The establishment is reachable via the Teatralnaya or Okhotny Ryad stops of the Moscow Metro.
6. Hungarian State Opera House:
Budapest is known for many things including its exquisite bridges and the Heroes’ Square but one of its most notable landmarks is the Hungarian State Opera House. With a seating capacity of 1,300, it was built between the years 1875 and 1884. Designed by Hungarian architect Miklós Ybl, it was funded by both the city of Budapest and the Emperor Franz Joseph I of Austria-Hungary. Oh, and let us not forget about the scintillating Budapest Opera Ball dating back as far as 1886.
Did you enjoy our list? How many of the aforementioned opera houses have you visited and how many are you still on the hunt for? Hit the comment section below and tell us all about it! Safe travels!