If you’re a lover of theatric arts then you’re probably a fan of opera. The art originated from Italy around the sixteenth century. The earliest operas were modest productions but soon became more lavish and took on more spectacular and grand staging.
Opera is a staged drama that is performed musically. It incorporates many of the elements of spoken theatre such as acting, costumes, scenery and can sometimes even involve dance.
The soul of opera has overcome the obstruction of time and is still very much relevant in today’s societies. Opera and classical music as a whole are the foundation of what modern music is based off. Here are some of the best places to visit if you’re a fan of opera.
Germany: Göttingen International Handel Festival
The international Handel festival is a German festival of Baroque music, based in Göttingen, Germany. This place is home to the world’s oldest Baroque music festival.
Named after the famous baroque composer George Handel, this festival has been staged annually for 100 years.
Established in 1919, this festival produces one fully staged opera by Handel every year and several of his oratorios. In 2006, the festival created its own professional orchestra that focusses on performing baroque music.
In addition, the festival also features open-air classic events, late evening concerts, lectures, film showings, guided tours of the city and a host of other performances. Therefore, it is truly a dream for anyone who is a fan of opera.
Russia: St. Petersburg The Mariinsky Theater
The Mariinsky Theatre is a historic theatre of opera and ballet in Saint Petersburg, Russia. It opened in 1860 and quickly became the most renowned music theatre of the late 19th Century in Russia.
Many stage productions and stage masterpieces have had their premiers in the theater. Today the Mariinsky Theater is home to the Mariinsky Opera, the Mariinsky Orchestra, and the Mariinsky Ballet.
The theater has continued to stage beautiful productions in both modern and classic Russian operas. The theater also hosts an annual international festival called “Stars of the White Nights Festival”. The festival is usually held as the summer solstice approaches.
During the summer months, the White Nights Festival draws in classical and operatic music royalty from all over the world to experience the beauty of opera and classical music.
Nearly one million Russians come every year to St. Petersburg for the festival. In fact, the festival is known as Russia’s largest public event.
Ireland: Wexford The Wexford Festival
The Wexford Festival is an opera festival that takes place in the town of Wexford located in South-eastern Ireland. The festival takes place during the months of October and November.
The festival was established in 1951 by a group of opera lovers who quickly gained a lot of attention for hosting festivals that would feature three works of opera. This concept has been maintained over the years and is still the typical program for the Wexford Festival.
A few years back, the home to the Wexford Festival, the Theater Royal, was demolished and replaced by the National Opera House. The first opera that premiered in the new building was back in October of 2008 and it was a success.
The new building gives the Wexford festival a modern venue. On top of that, it also increased the festival’s capacity by 35%.
Overall, opera makes us see, feel, and hear the world differently. Opera does not shy away from heavy themes when it comes to some of its productions.
It allows us to take a step back from modern music and appreciate where theatrical arts came from. It helps us to embrace and appreciate the origins of the performing arts.