Teatro La Fenice
Teatro La Fenice Review
One of Italy's oldest opera houses has witnessed many memorable operatic premieres, including, in 1853, the dismal first-night flop of Verdi's La Traviata. It has also witnessed its share of disasters: the most recent being a horrific fire that burned most of the interior; it was deliberately set in January 1996, and was followed by endless delays in a complicated reconstruction. In keeping with its name (which translates as The Phoenix, coined when it was built over the ashes of its predecessor in 1792), La Fenice rose again. It was restored and once again hosts seasons of symphony, opera, and dance. The acoustics of the reconstructed theatre have received mainly positive reviews, but attitudes expressed toward the decoration (replicated based on the style of the early-19th century, but using cheaper, less exacting techniques) have been mixed. According to music critics, in recent years less well known and accomplished artists have been booked, the production quality has deteriorated somewhat, and some operas (because of budget cuts) are presented in concertante (just sung, without staging). Daily audio-guided tours through the theatre are available in several languages, from 9:30–6.