• Julia Sumzina

Theatres and facts.

There are 10 famous theatres in the World. We prepared the illustrations and facts for each of them. Which one do you like most?


1. Opéra Garnier (Paris, France)

  • The ceiling area in Garnier Palace, which surrounds the chandelier, was given a new painting by Marc Chagall in 1964. This painting was controversial, but now it's one of the symbols of Paris Opera.


2. Mariinsky Theatre (Saint Petersburg, Russia)

  • The curtain of the historical Mariinsky Theatre painted by the artist Aleksandr Golovin in 1914 exactly repeats the pattern of the ceremonial mantle of Empress Alexandra Feodorovna (Alix of Hesse), the the spouse of Nicholas II.


3. Teatro dell'Opera di Roma (Rome, Italy)

  • On 2 January 1958 the Teatro dell'Opera di Roma was the venue for a controversial performance of Norma starring Maria Callas in the presence of the President of Italy: for health reasons, Callas abandoned the performance after the first act (the opera company had not engaged an understudy).


4. Royal Opera House (Covent Garden) (London, The UK)

  • During the first world war, the Royal Opera House in Covent Garden was requisitioned by the Ministry of Works for use as a furniture repository.

  • During the second world war, the Royal Opera House building was used as a dance hall.

  • After the war, the idea of public subsidy of the arts was accepted and the decision was made to establish the Royal Opera House as the permanent year-round home of the opera and ballet companies now known as The Royal Opera and The Royal Ballet.


5. Bolshoi Theatre (Moscow, Russia)

  • In 1918 Vladimir Lenin insisted on demolishing the Bolshoi Theatre. He thought that opera was a bourgeois art, it cost too much, and that the performers were arrogant and wanted only money. Surprisingly, it was Joseph Stalin and Anatoly Lunacharsky (the USSR's first culture minister), who changed Lenin's mind.


6. Stopera (Amsterdam, The Netherlands)

  • Many citizens, who staged many protests during the 1970s and 1980s, opposed the Stopera and were eager to let their feelings be known. Despite their tactics, however, the project was completed, though it went drastically over budget. The Muziektheater opened in 1986 and City Hall in 1988.


7. David H. Koch Theater (New York City, the USA)

  • The David H. Koch Theater (originally named the New York State Theater) is currently named for billionaire philanthropist David Hamilton Koch, who pledged to provide $100 million for the restoration of the theater. The theater will bear his name for 50 years, and his family will have right of first refusal for any renaming.


8. Royal Danish Theatre (Copenhagen, Denmark)

  • The Royal Theatre is the location of several scenes in the The Danish Girl film (2015) where the main character (Eddie Redmayne) begins to acknowledge his feminine personality.


9. Nationaltheater (Munich, Germany)

  • King Ludwig II had a secret passageway connecting his bedroom to the royal box so he could sneak in without being noticed. Ludwig II was a huge opera fan, most notably of Wagner operas, which he personally funded for years.


10. Tokyo Bunka Kaikan (Tokyo, Japan)

  • The Music Library in Tokyo Bunka Kaikan was established in October 1961 as one of the few libraries exclusively for music. The library's collections mainly cover classical music and also include ethnic, Japanese, dance, and other music genres. They are available for the public to view and listen free of charge.


Illustrations: Julia Sumzina

Instagram: @js_artsreview

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