#Bucketlist goals!! These theatres are STUNNING and I cannot wait to go see shows or tour these theatres around the world...after all, Theatre Travels =)
Check these out!
All photos are credited to the individual theatres and are not our own.
Lake Constance, Austria
The Bregenz Festival has been running since 1946 and each year the stages have become more and more elaborate. When the festival began, only a year after the end of WWII, the town did not even possess a theatre, and the idea of mounting a festival seemed eccentric; but the initially makeshift solution of choosing the loveliest part of the town – the lake – as the stage proved to be a hugely successful one. Visitors from Austria, Germany, Switzerland and France made the Festival an international event in its very first year.
The floating stage is set against a postcard perfect lakeside Austrian town and the festival's program features performances from some of the best companies from around Europe. The festival runs in July and August each year.
This is definitely on the bucket list!
This one is a local treasure for us! Housing 5 theatres and home to some of the greatest companies Sydney has across the Arts - Sydney Theatre Company, The Australian Ballet, Bangara, Opera Australia, Bell Shakespeare, and more - this theatre complex is the penultimate theatre venue in Sydney...and it's not too shabby looking either! This Sydney icon is one of my favourite landmarks in the city because it's more than just pretty, it's functional, it's fun and it's homey. I'm a big fan of the Opera House for the vibe, for the quality of sound in the theatres and for the great representation of the Arts right in the midst of our very famous harbour.
It's not just one of my fav Sydney spots though! According to the SOH's website,
"Today it is Australia’s number one tourist destination, welcoming more than 8.2 million visitors a year and one of the world’s busiest performing arts centres, presenting more than 2000 shows 363 days a year for more than 1.5 million people, from the work of the seven flagship arts companies to which it is home to First Nations’ arts and culture, talks and ideas, theatre and dance and the superstars of classical and contemporary music."
You can pay to go on a guided tour of the Opera House or can choose to dine at one of the many restaurants or bars on site even if you are not going to see a show. Read about the House's history here.
If you're in Sydney, don't miss out on seeing a show at the Opera House.
This whole theatre looks absolutely stunning but the roof is something really special! The building is an architectural jewel of Catalan Art Nouveau and the only concert venue in this style to be listed as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO. The theatre features a range of performances from concerts to Flamenco and I cannot wait to go and see a show there one day soon.
This theatre complex is unique because it features two theatres stacked on top of one another (seven stories apart). The Elgin Theatre downstairs is traditionally decorated in red and gold with classic references but upstairs, the architect had a more whimsical idea in mind. The Winter Garden (upstairs) is designed to bring the outside in with murals of plants, leafy plants cascading down the walls and ceiling and even tree trunks hiding columns, lanterns hiding lights, etc.
These are the last surviving Edwardian stacked theatres in the world.
You can pay to tour this theatre on Mondays and Saturdays or visit during May for free on certain days during the Open Door Festival. Alternatively, see a show to see it in all its all its traditional glory.
This theatre sports some amazing views but it is the history of the theatre that really struck me so I wanted to share the awesome stories that I have read with you below. Minack literally translates to rocky place. Where the theatre now stands was once just sloping cliff and a ninety-foot drop to the sea behind. I cannot wait to visit this theatre one day!
"The Minack’s story began in 1929, when Rowena Cade got involved with an open-air production of Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream. It was such a success that the company repeated the production the following year. They then wanted to stage The Tempest and Rowena offered them the use of her cliff garden for the performance. Now, she had to create a practical acting area and somewhere for the audience to sit...
The Minack wasn’t built using diggers and heavy machinery, Rowena and her helpers worked largely with hand tools (and the occasional stick of dynamite) to shape the theatre we see today. She described how they cut up the rocks and manhandled them to make the first terraces on the steep cliff-side...
Building the Minack took Rowena the rest of her life. Most of the structures you see today are created from concrete mixed with sand from the beach, which she herself carried up the cliff in sacks...
Rowena was an artist as well as a builder. Throughout the theatre she etched complex designs into the wet concrete with an old screwdriver. Many of the seats bear the names and dates of plays performed here. Rowena continued working on her theatre well into her eighties. She died in 1983, a few days before her ninetieth birthday. A granite plaque half way down the theatre marks her achievement, but her true memorial is found in every stone and every vista."
Read More on the Minack's Website
Palacio de Bellas Artes
Mexico City, Mexico
This beautiful Art Deco and Art Nouveau theatre is considered to be the most important theatre and cultural centre in Mexico. In 1987, UNESCO declared the building an artistic monument and it continues to host approximately 10,000 visitors per week.
The theatre has hosted some of Mexico's most notable music, dance, theatre and opera events and also art exhibitions in painting, sculpture and photography. It is truly an Arts house.
The very impressive structure took a while to build but now, it certainly sits on my top theatres that I would love to visit.
Hands down one of the most beautiful theatres I have had the pleasure to see a show in anywhere in the world, La Scala is entrancing because it feels like walking into a different time period where going to the theatre was more lush and more revered than it is today. The opulence of the room is remarkable and was overwhelmed only by the buzzing of excitement by an entirely full audience the night I was there to see Don Quixote. A truly remarkable night at the theatre for this hardcore theatre nerd!
If you are not in Milan on the night of a show but still want to see the theatre, there are tours and there is a museum as well attached to the theatre.
Finally, I have never seen as opulent a foyer as this one when I did the tour of the Paris Opera House - wow! (side note: this was one of my favourite things I did in Paris so if you're going there, check out these tour options).
This theatre was built at a time when going to the theatre was as much about being seen as it was about what you would see on the stage...it may have even skewed more towards the former. Being seen at the Paris Opera was critical to one's status and so the foyer is designed to showcase the notoriety, to ensure that people can be seen and that they are seen in an environment that suggests 'royalty.' The horseshoe shaped auditorium helped people to be seen as well.
Read about each area of the theatre here.