The World's Greatest Opera HousesThe opera has long been associated with the height of sophistication and culture. It has shaped fashions in costume and choreography, and it has bred some of the greatest soloist voices that have ever lived. Now, the opera houses that have been home to these wonderful moments of history are becoming popular tourist destinations.

Le Palais Garnier- Paris

Le Palais Garnier was built in 1875 for the Paris Opera and is considered one of the most famous opera houses in the world. It is in fact, the opera house where the famous Phantom of the Opera was said to reside! Visiting Le Palais Garnier could not be easier with accommodation in Paris being cheap and numerous. Set in the heart of the city, the opera house is very close to other famous attractions like the Louvre and the Museum d’Orsay; it is possible to find accommodation in Paris that is close to all these attractions, so you can get the most out of your days!

Sydney Opera House

So iconic is this building that it is often the first that springs to mind when considering opera houses. However, it is certainly one of the youngest, with construction starting in 1958. Built on the edge of Sydney’s famous harbour the building is a series of curved structures that at once conjure the image of great sails on the water and at other times of vast shells that have been washed ashore. Step inside to see one of the largest organs in the world with over 10000 pipes!

The Mariinsky Theatre

For one of the most decorative examples of an opera house, visit the Mariinsky Theatre in St Petersburg. Built in 1860, it is a classic example of Russian luxury, from its aquamarine exterior, to the rich golds and reds of its interior. This theatre has been host to the premieres of several masterpieces, such as Prokofiev’s famous ballet Romeo and Juliet.

Picture: Paul Liu – Fotolia