A World Within: Europe’s Most Enthralling Opera Houses

Rocco Forte Hotels

As the gentle glow of each ornate chandelier begins to dim, a hush descends upon the audience before an all-consuming world of tragedy and triumph unfolds. Both exhilarating and deeply moving, a night at the opera has the distinct power to evoke emotion, while offering a unique insight into a perhaps unfamiliar city. 

Journey through Europe’s symphony of unmissable opera houses, each steeped in history and grandeur.


With a rich legacy of musical brilliance, from Wagner to Beethoven, Bach to Handel, a visit to Germany proves a pilgrimage for opera enthusiasts and connoisseurs. The largest of Berlin’s three world-class opera houses, the Deutsche Oper, is situated in the city’s western district of Charlottenburg. A short drive from Hotel de Rome via the picturesque Tiergarten, explore an enthralling array of performances this summer, such as Puccini’s Madame Butterfly and Tosca. For an ethereal night of music beneath the stars, discover the Berlin State Opera’s series of open-air concerts, staged within the famous Bebelplatz, just in front of the hotel. Meanwhile, family-friendly performances can be enjoyed at the Komische Oper on Behrenstraße, with musical interpretations of children’s classics.


The jewel of London’s Covent Garden, the Royal Opera House sits a short drive or a gentle 25-minute stroll from the comforts of Brown’s Hotel. First established as a playhouse in 1732, the current building is the third theatre to be constructed here, following two disastrous fires during the 19th century. It was here that Handel premiered a number of his operas, including Il pastor fido and Ariodante, while today eager audiences can enjoy around 150 performances each season. This summer, catch a searing performance of Bizet’s Carmen, alongside Mozart’s lighthearted and witty Così Fan Tutte, or delve into the history of the Royal Opera House with an exclusive behind-the-scenes tour. 


When in Rome, immerse yourself within enchanting arias at the Teatro dell’Opera. After opening its doors in 1880, the early 20th century saw Italian soprano Emma Carelli become Italy’s first female impresario of a major opera house, bringing a number of premiere performances to the Teatro, including Turandot and Wagner’s Parsifal. A 20-minute walk from Hotel de la Ville, choose from its calendar of magical performances this summer staged within the ancient Caracalla Baths. Elsewhere, explore intimate performances staged within some of the capital’s most atmospheric churches, including St Paul’s Within the Walls, which hosts weekly classical performances within its beautiful, mosaic-adorned setting.


Hailed as the birthplace of opera, it was in Florence that the young Italian composer Jacopo Peri arrived to study music in the 16th century, before composing Dafne, widely regarded as the first opera. For those visiting early in the summer season, the Maggio Musicale Fiorentino, typically occurring from April to mid-June, is a truly mesmerising affair. As Italy’s oldest opera festival, it takes place across the city, including open-air performances at the majestic courtyard of the Pitti Palace and within the historic Teatro della Pergola. Elsewhere, operatic masterpieces unfold within the walls of St Mark’s Anglican Church, a former Medici Palace, a short stroll across the Ponte Vecchio from Hotel Savoy

From Berlin to Florence, discover an evening of magic this summer with Rocco Forte Hotels. 

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