Opera music first surfaced in Western Europe at the end of the 16th century, with Jacopo Peri’s Dafne performed in Florence, Italy in 1598. Since then, opera music and visiting opera houses have become an long-term habit for those that cherish classical music, theater and Victorian glamor.
Today, a ticket to some of the most prestigious opera houses can costs hundreds if not thousands of dollars, so we thought we’d give you a peak into some of the most grandiose opera houses around the world.
Le Palais Garnier – Paris
Once Paris’s preeminent opera house, Le Palais Garnier was constructed in 1861 and is located in the 9th arrondissement or quarter of the city. The opera house was originally called La Salle des Capucines after its location, but the name was later changed to honor the structure’s architect, Charles Garnier. Today, Le Palais Garnier is only mostly for ballet performances, but it still remains one of the most famous opera houses in the world.
The Metropolitan Opera – New York City
Located in the center of New York City at the Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts, the Metropolitan Opera (also known as the Met) is in fact the largest classical music organization in North America. The Met puts on about 27 different operas each year, includes a large symphony-sized orchestra, a chorus and a children’s choir. The Met company also employs thousands of dancers, actors, musicians, and numerous other performers, including famous opera singers like Renee Fleming and Placido Domingo.
The Sydney Opera House – Sydney
World-famous not only for its opera, but for its one-of-a-kind architecture, the Sydney Opera House is located in the Sydney Harbor just minutes from the city center. The structure was designed by Danish architect Jorn Utzon and was completed in 1973. The venue is one of the busiest performing arts centers in the world and hosts over 1,500 performances a year attended by nearly 1.2 million people. This stunning opera house is also a UNESCO World Heritage site.
La Scala – Milan
Teatro all Scala is a well-known opera house in Milan, Italy that was constructed in 1778 and was originally known as the New Royal-Ducal Theater alla Scala. The premiere performance in this iconic venue was Antonia Salieri’s Europa riconoscuita. Today, La Scala is home to the La Scala Theater Chorus, Ballet and Orchestra, and also is associated with a training school for professional musicians.
Teatro di San Carlo – Naples
The Teatro di San Carlo is the oldest continuously active venue for public opera in Europe. The theater was inaugurated in 1737 with the performance of Domenico Sarro’s opera Achille in Sciro. The opera house is located next to the city’s central piazza and is connected to the Royal Palace of Naples.