Top 5 Opera Houses in Europe

National Theatre Prague

The National Theatre in Prague is a stunning neo-Renaissance building, constructed between 1868 and 1681. Tourists on Prague city breaks will find it sitting proudly alongside the banks of the Vltava River, its golden roof gleaming in the sunshine on fine weather days. For Czech people, the National Theatre is one of the most important cultural institutions in Prague, with rich artistic traditions which were created and maintained by the most distinguished personalities in Czech society. Today the National Theatre consists of three artistic ensembles–opera, ballet and drama. Opera fanatics will testify that in recent years the National Theatre of Prague has dramatically improved and the beautiful auditorium is something to admire all year around.

Aurora Opera House Malta

Throughout the 17th century, Malta saw a surge in demand for operas, pageants and theatrical productions. The Arts boomed as the Maltese embraced what had previously been entertainment reserved solely for the nobility. Since then, theatre has remained a lively and well-represented part of Malta’s local cultural scene. Aurora Opera House is Gozo’s largest theatre (Gozo is Malta’s smaller sister island) and it boasts a 1600 people capacity, a spacious orchestra pit and one of Malta’s largest stages. Aurora Opera House gives ample space to local talent and the local production is annually enhanced with top international names from the world’s leading opera houses. Coincide holidays to Malta with the Mediterranea festival – a celebration on Gozo island of all things music, opera and art.

Italian Opera

Opera was born in Italy around the year 1600 and Italian opera continues to play a dominant role in the present day culture of the country. The opera season is generally October through to March or April, but outdoor performances are held in the summer. The Teatro di San Carlo is the oldest arts venue in Italy and one of the largest in Europe, a true sight to be seen. The theatre was built in only half a year in 1737 and is famous for its fabulous acoustics and interactive shows. It’s common for the performers to pull up vocal members of the audience on stage – a unique and memorable experience if you’re picked! If you are looking for somewhere more formal then head north to La Scala in Milan.

Buddapest State Opera House

The Hungarian State Opera House is a neo-Renaissance opera house located in central Budapest. The richly-decorated building is considered one of the architects, Miklos Ybl masterpieces. It was built in neo-Renaissance-style combined with accents of the baroque-style. Ornamentation includes paintings and sculptures by leading figures of Hungarian art of the time, including Bertalan Székely. Although in size and capacity it is not among the greatest, its beauty and the quality of acoustics are incomparable. The Budapest Opera House is considered to be amongst the first few opera houses in the world.

Valencia Opera House

The Valencia opera house was designed by the Santiago Calatrava and marked the completion of 14 years’ work for the Spanish architect. The actual building is a masterpiece of modern architecture and descriptions of it have varied from ‘a blend of seagoing vessel and spacecraft’ to ‘some sort of prehistoric trilobite’ or a ‘giant warrior’s helmet’. The Gaudi-inspired structure is a futuristic complex dedicated to the arts and science, which includes a planetarium in the shape of an eyeball and a science museum. A guided tour of the Valencia Opera House includes a visit to each of the four venues, as well as a walk around the exterior of the building with its panoramic lifts, terrace and garden areas located high up on both sides of the Palau.

About the author: Stephanie is the local expert for Malta at, and wants to show the world that Malta is so much more than just sunshine and beaches.


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This post was submitted by Steph Sheehan.


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