Considered one of "the most famous and renowned landmarks in the history of Italian theatre”, Teatro La Fenice is an opera house in the heart of Venice. It was here that some of the most celebrated operas were premiered during the 19th century, including those by composers such as Verdi, Bellini and Rossini.
Teatro La Fenice was constructed from 1790 to 1792 to replace the Teatro San Benedetto that had burned to the ground, with the name “La Fenice” referring to the opera company’s survival. It was inaugurated with an opera by Giovanni Paisiello entitled “I giuochi d’Agrigento”, with the libretto crafted by Alessandro Pepoli.
In December 1836, the theatre was again destroyed by fire and rebuilt on a design by brothers Tommaso and Giovanni Battista Meduna. It was at Teatro La Fenice that Giuseppe Verdi’s works “Ernani”, “Rigoletto” and “La Traviata” were premiered, while composers such as Stravinsky and Britten wrote pieces to be performed here for the First International Festival of Contemporary Music.
In 1996, Teatro La Fenice was almost completely destroyed by fire (attributed to arson) and the theatre was rebuilt again in 2001. The motto of the Italian architect Aldo Rossi was “how it was, where it was”, with La Fenice’s 19th-century ambiance recreated. He used still photographs from a 1954 film titled “Senso” in his design, with extra seating and rehearsal areas added. Today visitors are invited to experience the historic grandeur of Teatro La Fenice during operatic performances, enhanced by state-of-the-art audio and stage equipment.