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The World’s Most Special and Legendary Opera Houses

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Connoisseur's Guide · Europe · germany · Bayreuth · The World’s Most Special and Legendary Opera Houses

Markgräfliches Opernhaus

Author: Margarita Zieda0 COMMENTS

Markgräfliches Opernhaus

A late Italian Baroque edifice, Margravial Opera House (Markgräfliches Opernhaus) is one of the most amazing 18th-century theatre buildings - one of the few that have fully retained its original appearance. The wooden opera house, adorned with Apollo and the Nine Muses ceiling painting and mythological scenes from Ovid's Metamorphoses was built to relay a message of wisdom and peace to the people. Today, it is a concert venue, also hosting special events.
The opera house was built and inaugurated marking the wedding of the margrave's daughter Elisabeth Friederike Sophie von Brandenburg-Bayreuth who was a talented composer herself: some of her short format operatic pieces were performed at the opera. She died a few years after the opening of the opera, and the opera house was closed down - a fact historians cite as the reason behind the distinctiveness of the building: it has remained untouched by fire and has retained its original sophisticated and opulent appearance, featuring three storeys of boxes in which the seats were divided according to the social status of the spectators. Admittedly, the Prince's box was almost never used. Spectators of the highest rank were accommodated by placing a gold chair in the middle of the front row so they could follow the events unfolding on the stage from the closest distance possible.
The building attracted the attention of Richard Wagner who was looking for a home for the Ring of the Nibelung cycle of operas - his piece of the recreation of the world. At the time, Markgräfliches Opernhaus stood out with its relatively impressive size, among other things, and yet it proved too small for Wagner's grand plans. The composer still took a liking to the city: he built his theatre on Green Hill, a short walking distance from Markgräfliche Oper.
Incidentally, Richard Wagner appeared at the Margravial Opera as a conductor: on 22 May 1872 the occasion of laying the corner-stone of the Bayreuth Festival House was marked by a performance of Beethoven's Ninth.
The Margravial Opera was one of the locations where the Farinelli film was shot.

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