A burning history
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” (not 'La Venice'), referring to the opera company’s survival. It was inaugurated with an opera by Giovanni Paisiello entitled “I Giochi 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 the Meduna brothers. It was at Teatro La Fenice that Giuseppe Verdi’s works “Ernani”, “Rigoletto,” and “La Traviata” were premiered. During the same period, 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 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.
A must-see attraction
Today, the famous theatre is one of the top tourist attractions in Venice. Visitors are also invited to experience Teatro La Fenice's historic grandeur during operatic performances, enhanced by state-of-the-art audio and stage equipment.