Check out our “Top 5″ opera theaters in Europe:
1. Teatro di San Carlo
Taking a trip to Italy for their majestic opera house in Naples is not to be missed. As the oldest in Italy and one of the largest in Europe, San Carlo is a true sight to be seen. The theater was amazingly built in only half a year in 1737 and is famous for its fabulous acoustics, especially considering it’s so big. It might be one of the biggest and most famous but San Carlo is a little more than just an opera house. It’s famous for having some quite vocal members of the audience on stage, but then this is where opera is most at home so it can be forgiven. If you want somewhere more regal and well behaved then head north to La Scala in Milan but if you want more of an experience then this is your best bet.
2. Gran Teatre del Liceu
The location this time is Barcelona in Spain and the Gran Teatre del Liceu is one of the finest in the whole country. Build in the 19th Century, it’s not one of the oldest in Europe but certainly one of the most exclusive in terms of performances. It’s huge too and after La Scala it’s the second largest in Europe. It has been the stomping ground for many of the greatest opera singers in modern theater and once housed a certain Jose Carreras in his younger days.
3. Wurttemberg State Theater
If the prize was for the most beautiful building then the home of the Stuttgart State Opera would be in the lead. Like many of the opera houses above and around Europe, the Second World War seemed to hit this theater hard. It was rebuilt after the war but the original building was completed in 1912 by architect Max Littmann. It’s one of the more recognizable of theaters, as the classical columns prop up the curved stone building which overlooks a beautiful lake. It seats 1400 people and is well rehearsed in putting on some, if not all, of the biggest operatic shows in Germany.
4. Prague Estates Theater
This neo classical theater in the Czech capital of Prague is famous for being the venue where a certain Amadeus Mozart first conducted a performance of his opus Don Giovanni. Since then it’s gone from strength to strength and cemented itself both in its own country and across Europe as being the best place to experience Mozart’s operas in the venue he loved so dearly.
It doesn’t come more bourgeoisie than Glyndebourne, UK. If you thought opera was just for the higher classes then…you’d be pretty much right if you went on an evening out to the famous East Sussex opera theater. Nestling in the dainty English countryside is the 700-year-old country house that now hosts a regular capacity of some 1,200 opera lovers. The building has been given a big make-over over the last twenty years and in 1992 it opened its doors to a new incredible £34 million theater. A lot of the money came from a great number of private donors so sadly they take priority over many of the seats. But for those who feel they own the right attire (black tie and evening dress) then it annually hosts he Glyndebourne Festival Opera and is more of an institution and experience now than your average opera house.
Photo of Prague Opera House originally posted by Tom Scamardo