Inside 9 Extraordinary Opera Halls

Step into the stalls and onto the stage of the world’s greatest opera houses

By Google Arts & Culture

The Sydney Opera House, Sydney

Sited on the shore of Bennelong Point, the iconic silhouette of the Sydney Opera House is an unmistakable landmark on the city's skyline, but have you ever been inside?

The Bolshoi Theatre, Moscow

Designed by Joseph Bové, the Bolshoi Theatre opened in 1825 with a performance of Fernando Sor's ballet, Cendrillon. Today it's home to the 200 dancers of the Bolshoi Ballet and the world-renowned Bolshoi Opera.

The Vienna State Opera House, Vienna

Every year, at the height of the Viennese carnival season, this renaissance-revival opera house hosts the exclusive Vienna Opera Ball, where hundreds of guests try to steal the spotlight.

The Dutch National Opera, Amsterdam

Like a swan on a lake, ballet may look effortless, but demands hard work.  Take a look here behind the scenes at the Dutch National Opera. Just make sure you're ready when the curtains go up!

The Georgian Theatre Royal, Richmond

Today, this tiny Yorkshire theatre in the leafy suburb of Richmond can seat 200 people, but when it first opened in 1788 nearly 400 packed the house.

Ford's Theatre, Washington D.C.

It was from this balcony at Ford's Theatre that US President Abraham Lincoln watched Our American Cousin on April 14, 1865. Before the end of the night, Lincoln would be assassinated by John Wilkes Booth.

Teatro Massimo, Palermo

Living up to it's name, the enormous Teatro Massimo still impresses visitors to the Sicilian city. And don't forget to look up! The dome is crowned with Rocco Lentini's painting, the 'Triumph of Music'.

The Royal Opera House, London

A conductor's eye view of the orchestra pit at The Royal Opera House. Found near the historic markets of Covent Garden, this is one of London's most prestigious theatrical venues.

Roman Theatre, Brescia

Time has taken its toll on this ancient Roman theatre, built nearly 2000 years ago in the Flavian era, but its sweeping, tiered seating shows that audience tastes have changed little over the centuries.

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