Opera was first introduced to the world in Italy back in the 16th century. Since then, this style of dance, music, art, and drama has been celebrated and embraced all over the world. If you’re searching for the perfect location where you can enjoy this theatrical art form, look no further than these 10 destinations.
1. Milan, Italy
Looking to immerse yourself in the culture and history of opera? Well, you might as well go to the home of opera in Italy. Travelers may frequent Milan to shop its rows of trendy boutiques on Via Montenapoleone, but for those who want to witness some of Italy’s premiere operatic performances, Teatro alla Scala is the place to be. Inaugurated back in 1778, many of Italy’s greatest singers and performers have graced its stage.
2. New York City, United States
When visiting the Big Apple, you’re not confined to Manhattan if you’re looking for an opera theater. The five boroughs have no shortage of theaters, from the Metropolitan Opera at Lincoln Center to Carnegie Hall in Midtown Manhattan, Brooklyn’s Academy of Music, and Harlem’s Opera House.
3. Sussex, England
Just one hour from London you’ll find the Glyndebourne Festival Opera in Sussex. Founded in 1934 by John Christie and Audrey Mildmay, the highest quality performances from up and coming and well-established talent has performed here. One of the best things about the festival is the gorgeous outdoor scenery. Surrounded by rolling hills, visitors can peruse the beautiful garden and enjoy a picnic next to the outdoor gallery before heading inside to enjoy the show.
4. Göttingen, Germany
Every May, the city of Göttingen puts on its International Handel Festival. It’s now known as one of the world’s oldest festivals for Baroque music. Specialists from all over the globe join together to put on memorable performances under a central theme. For example, May 2017’s festival was all about “faith and doubt,” and festivalgoers were able to enjoy productions ranging in styles and various artistic concepts. But that’s not all. The city is also home to the Deutsche Theater and the Junge Theater.
5. Santa Fe, United States
An unlikely tourist destination for opera lovers is Santa Fe, New Mexico. Back in 1956, New York-based conductor John Crosby founded the Santa Fe Opera company and oversaw the building of the entire theater. The main hall, renamed The Crosby theater after its founder’s death, was rebuilt in 1997 to give it a more intimate feel. While visitors are enjoying the production, we wouldn’t be surprised if they were unable to take their eyes off of the stunning architecture. The theater was built so that the roof provides protection from unexpected weather, but the walls remain open to make this one of the most unique opera houses in the world.
6. St. Petersburg, Russia
Basking in the historical charm of Russia’s opera history means taking a trip to St. Petersburg. The Mariinsky Theater was founded in 1860; many world-renowned Russian musicians, including Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky and Modest Mussorgsky, received their premieres here. Today, it’s home to a ballet, opera, and orchestra that never fail to entertain the theater’s guests.
7. Stockholm, Sweden
The Royal Domain of Drottningholm is a private residence of the Swedish royal family. However, the palace is also home to the Drottningholm Palace Theatre. During the summer, the theater puts on opera festivals that people from all corners of the globe attend. Stepping foot in this opera house is like traveling back in time since the theater still uses its original stage machinery from the 18th century.
8. Paris, France
Paris isn’t just the city of love. This romantic destination is also the home to one of the most popular opera theaters: Palais Garnier. The main hall is just as opulent as you would expect. From its various shades of marble accents to the double staircase leading into the foyer, the architecture and craftsmanship behind this traditional Italian theatre can’t be beaten. But if you’re looking to enjoy the arts in a modern setting, Opéra de la Bastille has your name written all over it. You can catch a presentation from the chorus, the ballet company, or the house’s orchestra.
9. Wexford, Ireland
In 1951, Tom Walsh debuted the Wexford Festival Opera in the city of Wexford, Ireland. The festival was known for its avant-garde productions and rare works. The heritage of this festival has stayed true to its roots ever since. They continue to present remarkable and forgotten masterpieces by emerging young stars and international performers.
10. Chicago, United States
Chicago’s Lyric Opera of Chicago is one of the leading theater companies in the U.S. While the structure is an architectural work of art, it’s the on stage performances that keep visitors coming back for more. Some of the past performances include Don Giovanni, Capriccio, Il Trovatore, and Porgy and Bess. The company is committed to presenting lesser-known masterpieces and work from emerging operatic talent. However, popular classics are also celebrated, such as the Italian play Rigoletto.