For some people, a night at the opera is the perfect way to spend an evening; the ultimate all-encompassing performance where dramatic acting, emotive music, deft dancing and dazzling costumes combine to make the most absorbing of artistic experiences. It’s not just the performance though, because as any operatic aficionado will know, the acoustics, atmosphere and even architecture of a venue make a huge contribution to any performance.
If you’re a cruise-goer who loves an aria or two, then you’ll be delighted to know that it’s possible to visit some of the world’s most iconic and well-respected opera houses during you six star cruise. Here’s a look at six of the best.
Teatro Colon – Buenos Aires
On your South American cruise, there’s more than a good chance you’ll visit Argentina’s lively capital Buenos Aires, home to one of the world’s finest opera houses, the Teatro Colon. Not just the preserve of opera enthusiasts, it’s one of the city’s most popular landmarks and tourist attractions and dates back to 1908. It’s astounding acoustics are revered the world over and after a 100 million-dollar refurbishment following the centenary celebrations, the interior’s something special too.
Opera de Monte Carlo – Monte Carlo
The rally, the cars, the glitz, the glamour, the casino, James Bond… there’s many things we associate with Monte Carlo, but the truth is, its opera house really is something special and a must see on your Mediterranean cruise. The interior is a dazzling golden delight but despite this and its glamorous locale, tickets for performances can be very reasonable if you book in advance.
Palace of Catalan Music – Barcelona
Barcelona’s brimming with world-beating architecture and UNESCO World Heritage Site the Palace of Catalan Music is certainly no exception. In a city dominated by the iconic works of Antoni Gaudi, it’s refreshing to see the work of another architect (in this case, modernist Lluis Domenech I Montaner) garnering so much attention. The palace has been built using, stained glass, iron, glazed tiles and exposed brick and has a beautiful sculpted façade, and importantly if you’re intending on taking in a performance, the acoustics are amazing, too.
Mariinsky Theatre – St Petersburg
The renowned home of the world-famous Kirov Ballet, Mariinsky Theatre’s almost as famous for its opera, which makes it a must visit on Baltics cruise if you’re a fan. It dates back to 1860 and before the Russian Revolution, the country’s most celebrated opera stars would regularly perform here and today, the theatre remains arguably the city’s most popular theatrical venue.
The Lincoln Centre – New York
The Metropolitan Opera is THE place to catch an operatic performance if you find yourself in the Big Apple on a transatlantic cruise. It first opened in 1883 and is one of America’s most celebrated opera houses and surely on every opera-lovers bucket list of places to see an opera. Beautiful interior, beautiful acoustics and the world’s most talented performers all make for a truly memorable experience.
Sydney Opera House – Sydney
OK, it’s true, you probably could have guessed the last building on this list, but in truth, it would be rude not to include it. Sydney Opera House is one of the world’s most instantly recognisable buildings and a must-see landmark on an Australia cruise. A tour of the building is a must, on which you’ll be shown some of the opera houses’ 1000 rooms and though hundreds of different kinds of musical performances take place every year, it’s still of course possible to see an operatic performance and have the satisfaction of enjoying it in the world’s most well-known opera house.
By Simon Brotherton