Teatro La Fenice in Venice is recognized as one of the most famous opera houses in Europe and has been housing many prestigious premieres during its long and rich history. The foundation on the first Teatro La Fenice started in June 1790, around six years after the previous theater structure, known as the San Benedetto Theater - burned to the ground. Its construction took 2 years,and after that , it received the name of Phoenix, dedicated to the mythical bird that was born again from the ashes. At that period of time, the Fenice Theater like many other theaters and opera houses was very popular. It appeared like a pot of honey, attracting a large audience from all levels of the society.
Initially raised in the late 18th century, the Teatro La Fenice, also known as “The Phoenix” was so named due to the opera company that took its responsibility for the construction, and also because there was a sense of having “risen from the ashes” . The cruel fire had destroyed totally the original Venice Opera House and after many disputes, the opera company decided to relocate it to the present Campo San Fantin venue.
The theatre was founded after an organized public competition for its design, with a lot of controversy and debate. The structure featured the ideal of a republican theatre. The remarkable boxes appeared egalitarian in design, and a visible notion of severe austerity was meant to be shown by their decoration. The notable theatre was seriously damaged by fire but was always rebuilt from its ashes, and the last restauration happened in 2003. During the first decades of the 19th century, the town of Venice was recognized as one of the premiere locations for the introduction of new operas. Countless inaugural works were made by Rossini, Bellini, and Donizetti took place at Teatro La Fenice.
Fenice Opera House was reached by powerful disaster again in 1836 when the fire damaged the theatre and in January 1996 as well when arson caused it to be burned to the ground.
No doubt that in the mind of city officials appeared the idea related to the necessity of the reconstruction of the opera house. That means the Phoenix rose once again was rebuilt very close to its original appearance as humanly possible. The architects with the construction company did their homework very well. Teatro Fenice in Venice is really not different from the original one. The project for the reconstruction of the popular Venice opera house received significant international support. American sponsors paid for the ceiling, while the British bought the stellar chandeliers. After five thousand trips organized down the Grand Canal, finally the remarkable work was finished.
Over the time the theatre has been a warm house to such famous musical names as Rossini, Donizetti and Verdi. Rich or poor people, highborn or low alike came to hear the musical stars and the music they created, because the Italian residents adore their opera.
The theatre was rebuilt fairly quickly having as supervisors the architects and brothers Tommaso and Giambattista Meduna. It was officially reopened a year later after the fire had destroyed almost all its interior and received premiere such famous operas as Rigoletto and La Traviata.
Although the theater has been closed during the turbulence of World War I, but when reopened, the theatre hosted special works by some of the best composers of the 20th century, such as the Benjamin Britten and Igor Stravinsky.
Actually the tragedy struck again in 1996 when the theater suffered another fire. This one, was arson and two electricians were charged with setting the blaze and imprisoned. In 2001, the works for the reconstruction started and the structure was completed in just 650 days, less than two years. The new Teatro La Fenice is designed in the 19th century style, the same as the first style for La Fenice Theatre designed by the Meduna brothers. The famous architect Aldo Rossi focused his design on old still photographs featuring those of several early operas performed in the structure. It is believed that the new made design was to be based on the motto "How it was, where it was". Even some of the papier-mache decorative scenes included inside the theater are identical to the originals ones, this way keeping its initial charm and beauty.
The inaugural concert that took place in December 2003 featured works by Beethoven, Stravinsky, and Wagner. In a short period of time the new theater has regarded mixed reviews. Some guests think that it is a poor imitation of the original Teatro la Fenice, one critic even said "brash and bright", but at the same time others considered it to still be one of the best and the most perfect opera houses in Europe.
On December 14, 2003 the Teatro La Fenice was officially inaugurated by the Italian President Carlo Azeglio Ciampi, including a great concert conducted by Riccardo Muti. The restoration and the redesign of the theatre undoubtedly gave rise to much controversy between traditionalists and modernists who asked for daring and abandoning the past, and opting for a more modern building, depending on our age and time. We need to mention that they lost.
Starting with 2004 the Fenice every year houses the New Year Concert in competition with the more traditional Wien's concert. For tourists who are interested in a truly opera in Venice they can admire the leading artists of the day singing and playing many of the popular works of those early and great masters. La Traviata is performed here in a very unique way like nowhere else. You need to know that some seats in the theatre don’t open a direct view over the stage. The acoustics continue to be just perfect, enchanting your ears.
The Teatro Fenice is a famous world class opera house and for those whose musical tastes are elsewhere, the building offers a lot of interesting sites. The tours organized during the day provide a view of some of the most amazing aspects of the imposing and incredible structure.
When walking along these amazing halls the tourists will impressed to see the elaborate plaster decorations. The gilding was tastefully designed and recreated to give the walls and ceiling the look they kept for about two centuries. Interesting tour guides inform visitors about the rich history of the fascinating structure and its most notable performers. This will be a really unforgettable experience for you, just stay there and listen to the fabulous opera, feel free to escape in the music world and enchant your ears with spectacular operas. This adorable theatre makes Venice to be a gorgeous destination, known for its incredible operas, a place where to enjoy lovely moments, listening to concerts or just walk through the splendid beauty of the building, and admiring its marvelous design. The Teatro Fenice is an unrepeatable destination for music lovers, for those to want to spend in tranquility some special moments, and at the same time delighting their souls with unique pieces of art, and fabulous spectacles of music, that mark their life. Try to escape for some hours from the crowdy city and come for a visit at this remarkable theatre and you will never be disappointed or bored, but only amazed and impressed. Due to its unusual past, the theatre nowadays seems to attract more and more guests, because they are interested to find out a little bit more about its cruel life, that marked its history and made it a treasured diamond for the city of Venice.
By Eugenia Cvasov
The Best Theatres in the World .
A theatre is a form of art performance.
It is a synthesis of all arts.
It includes music, architecture, painting, cinema, photography.
The theatre is the most powerful tool of influence on the person, because seeing what is happening on the scene, the viewer associates himself with a specific character, and through the catharsis some changes take place within him.
Despite the fact that the cinema exists for a long time, the theatres are popular as well as in times gone by.
The picture cannot be matched with a "live" actor playing, when the feeling of the play spirit hovers in the hall.
The ballet and opera, comedy and musicals, any statement can stir all the senses.
Each theatre is unique by its atmosphere, actors, and history.
A theatre will be always an important tourist attraction of every city.
Its architecture, actors and plays will always amaze each visitor.
It is the best way to spend very interesting and full of emotions evening.
Visiting a foreign country, don’t hesitate to see its theatre.
You enjoy the pleasure it performs.
You will remember this life experience for a long period of time.