The Margravial Opera House Bayreuth, a world heritage site since 2012, was reopened after extensive restauration in 2018 and is one of the most beautiful baroque theaters in the world.
The Margravial Opera House Bayreuth, a world heritage site since 2012, was reopened after extensive restauration in 2018 and is one of the most beautiful baroque theaters of the world.
The margravial Opera House is the best preserved example of a free standing baroque court theater. It was modelled from the greatest opera houses of the time in Vienna and Dresden. In 2012, as a unique monument of 18th century festival- and music culture, it was inscribed by UNESCO on the list of world cultural heritage of humanity.
The driving force behind this exceptional project was Margravine Wilhelmine of Brandenburg-Bayreuth (1709–1758), who herself, was an avid music and theater lover. The theater was built for the lavish festivities surrounding the wedding of the Bayreuth princess Elisabeth Friedericke Sophie and duke Carl Eugen of Würtemberg in September 1748. The architect appointed to design the new opera house was the leading architect for theaters of the day, Giuseppe Galli Bibiena, an Italian who had been working for the Viennese Imperial court. His son Carlo Galli Bibiena was responsible for the project in Bayreuth and he remained at the court until the death of the margravine, creating numerous stage designs and festival decorations for the margravial opera house.
The margravial opera house is modelled after Italian lodge theaters of that period. The fully preserved tiers of the lodges made primarily of wood and canvas, are installed as a free standing construction within the stone exterior. The interior of the theater was constructed in record time with some of the wooden architectural elements and sculptures prefabricated and painted elsewhere. Thus a masterpiece of ephemeral festival architecture was completed from 1744 to 1748 in under four years.
The restoration taking place from 2013 to 2018 re-established the original light and airy atmosphere of the illusionistic painting in the auditorium with its overwhelming three-dimensional effect.
The auditorium and stage form a single unit. The large stage portal framed by columns at the rear of the auditorium, faces the court lmdge. The sculptures decorating the lodge, like those above the stage, glorify the Hohenzollern dynasty and the founders of the theater, margrave Friederich and margravine Wilhelmine of Brandenburg-Bayreuth.
(Text source: Bayerische Schlossverwaltung)