Teatro La Fenice

Teatro La Fenice is a theater and opera house in Venice, Italy that is among the best known theaters in all of Europe and has a rich tradition that includes some of the biggest names from the world of classical music and opera over the last 200 plus years. La Fenice Opera in Venice is a popular destination for both residents and tourists of Venice who wish to see an orchestral or operatic performance in the city.

Venice Italy Theatre
Venice Italy Theatre  Image: Miguel Mendez (flickr)

The name of this opera house in Venice Italy discloses much in the way of its past and its development. La Fenice, meaning Phoenix, is a reference to the first theater’s having been built where a prior theater had burnt to the ground. Over the course of the history of Venice, it is shocking how many precious buildings, whether palaces, military strongholds, or churches, simply burnt to the ground. The history of Europe overall in many ways has to do with what burnt down and what was rebuilt. Teatro La Fenice took its name from replacing the San Benedetto Theatre, which had burned, but came to also be a reference to this notable opera house’s ability to raise otherwise unknown opera companies out of the ashes, as it were, and into otherwise public notoriety.

Construction of the first permutation of La Fenice Opera in Venice was completed in 1792, and was inaugurated by a performance of Giuochi di Agrigento by Giovanni Paisiello. It only took about ten years for this opera house in Venice Italy to gain international renown and become known as one of the preeminent venues in Europe. Evidence of this can be seen in the performances put on by such heavy hitters of the industry at the time as Rossini, Bellinni, and Donizetti. In 1836, the Teatro La Fenice burnt down again, only to be rebuilt by the next year.

Unbelievably, arsonists were responsible for burning the legendary theater to the ground one more time in 1996. Doors opened once again in 2003, and again classical music could be hear emanating from the chamber of this great hall. The first concert featured the music of Beethoven, Wagner, and Stravinsky. Stravinsky performed here personally.

Now when you plan a trip to Venice you have the opportunity to see a variety of shows in this famous theater. If there is a show that you know you will want to see while you are on vacation, be sure to book your tickets as far in advance as possible. Cheap seats cost around 20 Euro, and can sometimes be purchased the day of a show, but if you are traveling with a group and can muster the expense, it is more than worth it to reserve seats in one of the boxes. This will easily be one of the most memorable parts of your trip, if you are able to make it happen. Prices scale up for better seats and premiere shows. La Fenice Opera in Venice is one of the places that you should definitely put on your list of places to see, whether you simply admire the facade, venture inside, or see a performance. You will be struck by the amazing job that was done on recreating this historic opera house in Venice Italy that was first constructed over 200 years ago.

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