x Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 20 January 2018

Venues as beautiful as the art they host

Old and new, the world's notable opera houses.

A new Revson Fountain, in front of the Metropolitan Opera, is the centerpiece of the restoration of Lincoln Center's plazas. Bloomberg
A new Revson Fountain, in front of the Metropolitan Opera, is the centerpiece of the restoration of Lincoln Center's plazas. Bloomberg

Sydney Opera House

Only opened in 1973, the Sydney Opera House has become an iconic 20th century landmark, instantly recognisable as a symbol of Australia. The building's modern expressionist architecture, which cost US$102 million to build, has single-handedly put Australia on the map both culturally and architecturally. It was declared a Unesco World Heritage site in June 2007. Each year the performing arts centre conducts more than 3,000 events, including ballets, operas and concerts, and attracts approximately 2 million people.

Top ticket price: Dh1,119

Metropolitan Opera House

The Metropolitan Opera House, opened in 1966, has become a world-famous part of New York's Lincoln Center. It welcomes more than 800,000 patrons each year. The Met is home to the Metropolitan Opera Company and the American Ballet Theatre, and also hosts various touring performances from the world's most prestigious companies. The Met has also hosted numerous other non-operatic events including the MTV Video Music Awards in 1999 and 2001.

Top ticket price: Dh836

Royal Opera House

London's architecturally stunning Royal Opera House is the city's premier music venue. Located in the heart of Covent Garden, it has hosted the most illustrious talents of the performing arts throughout the years. The neoclassical theatre was built in 1858, replacing two earlier buildings destroyed by fires in 1808 and 1857. It is the home of the Royal Opera and the Royal Ballet.

Top ticket price: Dh1,194

La Scala

Italy's La Scala is arguably the world's most famous opera house and Milan regards itself as the leading city of classical opera in the world. It was built in 1778 and named after Regina Del Scala, the wife of a Duke of Milan. Many of the greatest operatic talents in the world have graced La Scala's stage during the past two centuries and its elaborate neoclassical architecture has served as a prototype for various other Italian performing arts houses.

Top ticket price: Dh909

Cairo Opera House

Cairo Opera House opened in 1988 as a gift from Japan following president Hosni Mubarak's visit to the country in 1983. The structure filled the cultural void left by the historic Khedivial Opera House, which was destroyed by a fire in 1971. The Opera House is Egypt's premier venue for the performing arts and a pioneer of its kind in the Arab world. It consists of three separate opera halls, 10 permanent performance groups and hosts various touring companies from around the world.

Top ticket price: Dh123

Hanoi Opera House

Hanoi Opera House was built in the early years of the 20th century by the French colonial government. Its opulent architecture was modelled on that of the Palais Garnier in Paris. It is Vietnam's largest theatre (with 900 seats) and serves as a popular tourist attraction for local and foreign visitors. The Opera House hosts traditional Vietnamese symphonies as well as visiting foreign companies.

Top ticket price: Dh124

Bolshoi Theatre

The Bolshoi (which is Russian for "large" or "grand") is Russia's national theatre. It showcases the country's rich culture and colourful history through classic Russian operas and grand productions by the Bolshoi Ballet, as well as hosting famous foreign companies. The Moscow theatre has been the site of many historic premieres, including Swan Lake.

Top ticket price: Dh509