Margravial Opera House

Bayreuth, Germany

The Margravial Opera House is a Baroque opera house built between 1744 and 1748. It is one of Europe's few surviving theatres of the period and has been extensively restored. In 2012 the opera house was inscribed in the UNESCO World Heritage List.

It was built according to plans designed by the French architect Joseph Saint-Pierre (de) (ca. 1709 – 1754), court builder of the Hohenzollern margrave Frederick of Brandenburg-Bayreuth and his wife Princess Wilhelmine of Prussia. It was inaugurated on the occasion of the marriage of their daughter Elisabeth Fredericka Sophie with Duke Charles Eugene of Württemberg.

The wooden interior was designed by Giuseppe Galli Bibiena (1696 – 1757) and his son Carlo from Bologna in an Italian Late Baroque style. The box theatre is completely preserved in its original condition, except for the curtain which was taken by Napoleon's troops on their march to the 1812 Russian campaign. The prince box was seldom used by the art-minded margravial couple, who preferred a front-row seat.

Princess Wilhelmine, older sister of the Prussian king Frederick the Great, had established the margravial theatre company in 1737. In the new opera house she participated as a composer of opera works and Singspiele', as well as an actor and director. Today she features in a sound-and-light presentation for tourists. After her death in 1758, performances ceased and the building went into disuse, one reason for its good conservation status.

More than one hundred years later, the stage's great depth of 27 metres attracted the composer Richard Wagner, who in 1872 chose Bayreuth as festival centre and had the Festspielhaus built north of the town. The foundation stone ceremony was held on May 22, Wagner's birthday, and included a performance of Beethoven's Symphony No. 9, directed by the maestro himself.

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Details

Founded: 1744-1748
Category: Miscellaneous historic sites in Germany
Historical period: Emerging States (Germany)

Rating

4.7/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

Anton Stepanov (7 months ago)
Fantastic place to visit, an absolute must. They have organised tours, that are in German, but very interesting. The tour guide was very knowledgeable and went into extensive detail about the place. Even if yiu don't understand German, you can try translating direct speech in Google translate, or just come to enjoy the beautiful building.
Jigar Panchal (7 months ago)
The Margravial Opera House is a Baroque opera house in the town of Bayreuth, Germany, built between 1745 and 1750. It is one of Europe's few surviving theatres of the period and has been extensively restored. On 30 June 2012, the opera house was inscribed in the UNESCO World Heritage List.
Michele Finadri (9 months ago)
Cool restaurant in Bayreuth. Decent prices (33 euros for two people with starter, main and drinks) and nice to see something so different/exotic in this town. Vegetarian and vegan options are available. Only downside is that is cash only.
william leslie (2 years ago)
Must see! Booked the English visit on a Thursday and it was perfect. Lucked out and was the only person. Plenty of parking houses very near. I used the Rathaus parking garage and had a 2-3 minute walk. The tour is an audio visual experience while seated in the theater. It is informative, I believe 10 or 15 minutes in German with easy to read English subtitles. Samples of opera are played to give you a sense of what a performance would be like. The ooerahouse itself is not large but there is so much elegance packed into it you just have to see it. Would plan for 45 minutes. Also, convienent and clean public restroom directly across from operahouse.
Adam Bang (2 years ago)
Deservedly the main attraction of Bayreuth. Beautiful inside, definitely worth a visit. Pity there not enough time to listen to all the things on the audio guide (always included in the ticket), but it does give a chance to get to know place.
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