Sacred places of art in many cultures, opera houses are the place of great artistic reflection for the architects hired to build them.
Reina Sofia Palace of Arts
The Valencia Opera House, whose real name is the Reina Sofia Palace of Arts, is a work of Santiago Calavatra Valls. Inaugurated in 2005, this building is the fifth of the City of Arts and Sciences of Valencia, which also includes an IMAX cinema, a science museum, a botanical garden, an aquarium, a bridge and a public square. The Valencia Opera House is shaped like an upside-down ship’s hull or a shell and stands out for its futuristic style. Its total area is about 40,000 square meters.
Auditorium Parco della Musica
Designed by the Italian architect Renzo Piano, the Parco della Musica music complex is located in Rome and can accommodate more than 5,000 spectators in its four halls. This huge opera house is built on the site that hosted the Olympic Games in Rome in 1960 and was inaugurated in 2002. Its total realization took almost 7 years, extending from 1995 until the opening of the two largest halls. The music complex also houses the Museum of Musical Instruments.
Canton Opera House
Located in the south of China, in the province of Guangdong, the Canton Opera House was designed by Zaha Hadid. With an unparalleled structure, asymmetrical and complex, the huge building, with a surface area of nearly 70,000 square meters, has a capacity of 1800 seats. It is in line with the architectural modernism of the city of Guangzhou. Through docks and a garden, the Guangzhou Opera House is connected to the Guangdong Provincial Museum. The Canton Opera House has often been compared to two pebbles emerging from the ground or to a huge egg.
Shanghai Opera House
Built between 1994 and 1998 by French architect Jean-Marie Charpentier, the Shanghai Opera House is located in the popular Puxi district of the Chinese metropolis. With its three halls, which can hold a total of 2,600 people, the opera house is a real gathering place. Its sober design is reminiscent of traditional Chinese architecture, which Charpentier has skilfully blended with a touch of modernism.
Sydney Opera House
Designed between 1959 and 1973 by Danish architect Jørn Utzon, the Sydney Opera House is not only one of the most beautiful buildings ever built, but also one of the most famous. Its mythical shape, reminiscent of both a shell and the sails of a ship, combined with the play of lights that illuminate the building at night, have made it a main attraction for tourists visiting Australia.
Read more about the Sydney Opera House