Opéra de Nice , Nice , Architecture, Monuments Provence Attractions

Opéra de Nice
Address - 4-6, Rue Saint-François de Paule - 06300
Type - Architecture, Monuments
In the famous Opera House of Nice during its existence many no less well-known artists and composers appeared (Hector Berlioz, Jules Emile Frédéric Massenet, Montserrat Caballé, José Carreras, Placido Domingo, Dmitri Hvorostovsky). In due time Johann Strauss conducted the orchestra here and the Russian Emperor Alexander II listened to opera.

Lopera de NiceOnce a small wooden home theatre Maccarani was built here which existed from 1776 till 1826. Then the building was bought by the city authorities with the intention to erect on this place a large Italian-style opera house.

The architect Benoît Brunati worked on the project of the Royal Theatre building in neoclassical style. (As an example he took the Teatro di San Carlo in Naples). The theatre with several galleries of loges had no seats. The painter Jean-Baptiste Biscarra created the luxurious curtain for a new theatre engaged.

This theatre served as a cultural centre of Nice for almost half a century, but in 1881, alas, it was almost totally destroyed by fire. That year, on March 23, in the theatre as the opera Lucia di Lammermoor began the fire suddenly flashed on the scene! In a few seconds it spread on the curtain, the auditorium lights went out, the audience started to panic ... As a result, over 200 spectators died. The cause of the tragedy was later called the leakage of gas (the ramp lights did not work without it). Until now, in the old cemetery Cimetière du Château of Nice a monument to the victims of that tragic day stands.

A year later, the Municipality had decided to restore the theatre. The work was entrusted to the architect François Aune, a disciple of Gustave Eiffel. Under his direction a new theatre building was constructed – with a strong metal structure inside. The theatre has 2 frontages: the southern one faces directly the quai des États-Unis, and the northern (with the main entrance) – to the Rue Saint-Francois-de-Paul.

The theatre auditorium was planned by the architect in a new way - in the form of the «horseshoe», it became more spacious, could accommodate more than a thousand spectators. The ceiling of the auditorium was decorated with a huge mural of mythological topics by the painter Emmanuel Costa.

The residents of Nice came into a new theatre on February 7, 1885 – in honour of its opening Aida by Giuseppe Verdi was performed. Soon the French music lovers for the first time saw and listened here to the operas Das Rheingold by Richard Wagner, La forza del destino by Verdi, Lohengrin and Eugene Onegin by Pyotr Tchaikovsky.

The current name (Opéra de Nice) the theatre received in 1902. Recently the building was restored recently having provided with modern theatrical equipment.

In the Opéra de Nice one can regularly listen to the performances of the the Nice Philharmonic Orchestra considered one of the best orchestras in France. The auditorium is always full of spectators, they try to get to each of the hundreds of performances that the theatre provides for the season.

It simply cannot be in another way in the city where the streets are named after Rossini, Paganini, Verdi, Berlioz (and where even the hospital bears the name of Wolfgang Mozart).

Map - Opéra de Nice



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