Of the many famous opera houses in Italy, few are more legendary than Venice’s Teatro La Fenice. Originally opened in 1792, the theater quickly achieved the status of a major venue for opera performances.
The theater’s name, “La Fenice,” means “The Phoenix.” It was a reference to an earlier theater owned by the same company having burned down, in an optimistic look toward the mythic bird that rises from its own ashes. Unfortunately, the name proved to be a prescient one - La Fenice burned down twice, in 1836 and again in 1996. Both times, the theater was rebuilt. The second fire (and subsequent “whodunit” mystery) was chronicled in John Berendt’s book, “The City of Falling Angels.”
Performances at La Fenice range from opera to orchestral concerts to
ballet. The seasons for each of these varies, but it’s likely that there
will be something on when you’re in Venice - check at the ticket window
for last-minute ticket options, or book in advance via the La Fenice
website. You can also tour the theater, which is open for tours from
9:30am-6pm (as long as it’s not in use). Tour tickets cost €8.50, which
includes a multi-language audio guide.