List of theatres and opera houses in Venice

The first commercial opera in Venice was set up in 1637, after which at one point the city had six opera houses. This ushered in a period in which they throve until the decline in opera and theatre with the advent of television. Recently there has been a revival due to tourism and events such as the International Theatre Festival of the Biennale di Venezia.[1]

La Fenice

All the main Venetian theatres were owned by important patrician families, combining business with pleasure in a city of crowded and competitive theatrical culture. When most opera in Europe was still being put on by courts, "economic prospects and a desire for exhibitionistic display", as well a decline in their traditional overseas trading, attracted the best Venetian families to invest in the theatre during the 17th century.[2] Europe's first dedicated public and commercial opera house was the Teatro Tron from 1637.

The Grimani, with whom the Vendramin often inter-married, were dominant, owning what is now called the Teatro Malibran, then called the Teatro San Giovanni Grisostomo, as well as the Teatro San Benedetto and other houses. The Veniers owned La Fenice, still the main opera house.

Still open todayEdit

  • La Fenice – Venice's leading opera house. The first theatre was built in 1792 and the current structure opened in 2003.[3]
  • Teatro Goldoni 1622–present. Originally the Teatro Vendramin di San Salvador (in Venetian dialect)[4] or Teatro San Salvatore, 1622, renamed Teatro San Luca, then Teatro Apollo in 1833, and from 1875 til now Teatro Goldoni, today home to a theatre company Teatro Stabile di Veneto "Carlo Goldoni".[5]
  • Teatro Malibran originally Teatro San Giovanni Grisostomo 1678. Re-opened in 2001 by President Carlo Azeglio Ciampi[6]
  • Theatre Fondamenta Nuove, 1998 on the north lagoon, musical and cultural events, as well as conferences and workshops.[7]

On the mainland

  • Teatro del Parco, Mestre. An indoors theatre in Parco della Bissuola, the largest city park.[8]
  • Teatro Toniolo, Mestre. re-opened 2003[9]
  • Teatro della Murata, Mestre – opened 1970; a small experimental theatre, seating 70, in an old warehouse attached to the remaining city walls.[10]

Now demolished, destroyed by fire or closedEdit


  1. ^ La Biennale Theatre page
  2. ^ Lorenzo Bianconi, Giorgio Pestelli, Lydia G. Cochrane; Opera Production and Its Resources, pp .16 ff, 1998, University of Chicago Press, ISBN 0-226-04590-0
  3. ^ La Fenice
  4. ^ Lorenzo Bianconi, Giorgio Pestelli, Kate Singleton Opera on stage Page 346
  5. ^ Teatro Goldoni
  6. ^ Teatro Malibran Archived 2006-10-06 at the Wayback Machine
  7. ^ Teatro Fondamente Nuove
  8. ^ Teatro del Parco, Mestre Archived 2011-07-16 at the Wayback Machine
  9. ^ Teatro Toniolo Archived 2011-07-16 at the Wayback Machine
  10. ^ Teatro di Murata
  11. ^ Ellen Rosand Opera in Seventeenth-Century Venice: The Creation of a Genre p. 181
  12. ^ John Murray Handbook for Travellers in Northern Italy: Comprising Piedmont, Liguria, Lombardy, Venetia 1860
  13. ^ Maria Girardi Musica e musicisti a Venezia dalle origini ad Amendola

External linksEdit

  Media related to Theatres in Venice at Wikimedia Commons