Semper Opera House, Dresden, Germany

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The Semperoper is a famous opera house in Dresden. Many works have been premiered at the Semperoper, including major works by Richard Wagner and Richard Strauss.

The venue was built between 1838 and 1841 by the German architect and art critic, Gottfried Semper, and is located in Theatre Square (Theaterplatz), close to the Elbe River.

It was rebuilt, following a devastating fire in 1869 – but further tragedy was to occur when the opera house was destroyed by Allied air raids towards the end of World War Two. It was eventually rebuilt, and reopened in February 1985, exactly 40 years after it was destroyed.

One of Europe’s most stunning opera houses, Semperoper underwent painstaking reconstruction, especially when it came to its interiors. Local craftsmen and artists adhered to the original plans to recreate the details. The work also offered the opportunity for state-of-the-art technology to be fitted, and today, the opera house is known throughout the world for the quality of its acoustics.

The first performance in the rebuilt opera house was Freischütz by Carl Maria von Weber. This had been the last opera performed at the Semperoper before its wartime destruction, while an opera by Weber had also opened the original venue in 1841.

Today, the Semperoper houses the famous Saxon State Orchestra, as well as the Saxon State Opera. Among this summer’s line up of opera, ballet, musicals and classical concerts are Mozart’s The Magic Flute, The Flying Dutchman (by Richard Wagner), The Knight of the Rose (Richard Strauss), The Sleeping Beauty and West Side Story.