Theatrical Architecture: Must-See Theatres and Auditoriums Around the World

Emma
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People have been entertaining themselves with theatrical performances for thousands of years. There's nothing quite like seeing your favorite performance on the big stage, being mesmerised by the breath-taking architecture, lavish theatre seating and extravagant interiors, and experiencing the magic of the theatre. There are some spectacular theatres that should be on the bucket list of any performing arts enthusiast. To give you some inspiration, here are some of the most stunning theatres and auditoriums from around the world.


London Coliseum, England

Theatrical Architecture: Must-See Theatres and Auditoriums Around the World

© User:Colin / Wikimedia Commons / CC BY-SA 4.0

Opened in 1904, The London Coliseum is a theatre in St Martin's Lane, Westminster, built to be one of London's largest and most luxurious theatres. With 2,359 seats, the London Coliseum is the largest theatre in London’s West End. It was designed for Sir Oswald Stoll by Frank Matcham, the leading theatre architect of his day. The Grade II listed building underwent a complete restoration in 2000 to reclaim its Edwardian elegance and now features stunning gold interiors, and a huge 80 foot wide stage.


La Scala, Italy

Theatrical Architecture: Must-See Theatres and Auditoriums Around the World

© User: Palickap / Wikimedia Commons / CC BY-SA 4.0

La Scala is one of Milan's main attractions and most popular authentic venues for live music and performances. Built in 1778, it’s considered one of the world’s most famous opera houses and has played host to some of the classical music world’s finest talents over the years, including opera star Maria Callas. This stunning Italian theatre will make you feel like you’ve stepped back in time. It boasts traditional opera house finery, with red velvet and ornate gold decorations, and walls consisting of row upon row of private boxes. There is also a museum and music library, which showcase the opera house’s rich history with an array of costumes, photographs and original exhibits.


Salle Richelieu, France

Theatrical Architecture: Must-See Theatres and Auditoriums Around the World

© User: Rémih / Wikimedia Commons / CC BY-SA 4.0

The Salle Richelieu, also called La Comédie Française, was built way back in 1680 and is considered the oldest active theater company in the world. Like other theaters in Europe, this stunning building will transport you to a completely different era with its impressive theatre design. Inside, you’ll find stunning interiors and a grand original staircase lined with key performers from the theatre’s past. There are also world-class paintings, sculptures, and artifacts relating to the history of French theatre, making this a beautiful living museum.


Sydney Opera House, Australia

Theatrical Architecture: Must-See Theatres and Auditoriums Around the World

Overlooking Sydney Harbor, Sydney Opera House is a stunning contemporary addition to the city’s skyline, and has become one of the most famous and iconic buildings in the world. The building was designed by Pritzker Prize-winning Danish architect Jørn Utzon and officially opened in 1973. According to The Culture Trip - “In 2007 the building was recognised as ‘a great architectural work of the 20th century’ and designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site.” Today, the theatre features five performing spaces plus a forecourt for outdoor concerts.


Great Theatre, Greece

Theatrical Architecture: Must-See Theatres and Auditoriums Around the World

Greece’s Great Theatre dates all the way back to 340 BC and is considering to be the most beautiful and best preserved of all ancient theatres. It may lack the luxury and glamour of many of the theatres you’ll find elsewhere in Europe and around the world, but spend some time here and you’ll start to see an ancient marvel and grandeur come to life. Although it’s more of a historical relic than an established venue these days, some ancient Greek plays are still performed and the annual Athens and Epidaurus Festival takes place here every June. 


National Theatre, Prague

Theatrical Architecture: Must-See Theatres and Auditoriums Around the World

The National Theatre is a grand building in Prague and is known as the national monument of Czech history and art. The initial design dates back to 1844, but the building has seen several additions and upgrades over the years. This beautiful theatre is one of the most important cultural buildings in Prague and dominates the city skyline, with its famous golden crown and the magnificent trigas with a glorious angel. The theatre showcases a wonderful variety of ballets, plays and operas (both Czech and international) and visitors can explore its breathtaking architecture as part of organised tours over weekends.


Palais Garnier, France


You may recognise this famous theatre as being the setting for Gaston Leroux’s famous novel - the Phantom of the Opera. When it was established in 1875, it was the most expensive building in Paris. The stunning building was designed to feature lavish interiors with world-class artwork, impressive sculptures, and an eye-catching 8-ton bronze and crystal chandelier with 340 lights. Nowadays, it offers regular performances and is one of Paris’ most intriguing attractions.

Theatrical Architecture: Must-See Theatres and Auditoriums Around the World

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