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Theaters are not only essential centers for cultural and artistic communities, but many of them also become landmarks of the specific city, region and even country they are located in – yes, we are talking about the Sydney Opera House in Australia. Learn more about these interesting theaters around the world separated in the list below:


1. The theater of Besançon

Known as The Theatre Ledoux, this first place is in Scène nationale de Besançon, France, this exceptional theater holds two rooms that host entertainment events including opera, theater, concerts, ballet, and much more. It is in the most historical part of town at 49 rue Mégevand.

This structure was the brain child of Charles-Anrdé de Lacoré, a French aristocrat. He wanted to erect a theater that was worthy of the name. It was built in the late 1700s and de Lacoré hired Claude Joseph Alexandre Bertrand, an architect, to design the structure.

Architecturally this building was groundbreaking. It utilizes Ionic columns, pyramids on the roof, and a portico and the limestone used to erect it are blue and ocher from nearby quarries. The internal design is reminiscent of Italian designs, which are intended to be optimized for a great sightline from any seat.

The orchestra pit is in the very front of the stage and several aspects of the theatre were named historical monuments on July 15, 1928 including the façade, the theater, and the entrance hall.


2. Oslo Opera House

This Norwegian artistic structure houses the famous Norwegian National Opera and Ballet (watch here today Swan Lake, a prime and innovative piece by them). It is the national location for these types of art forms in all of Norway and located in Bjørvika, central neighborhood Oslo. Situated at the tip of the inlet called Oslofjord, this opera house is managed by the Norwegian government.

Statsbygg, or the Norwegian Directorate of Public Construction and Property, manages the theater and it has more than a thousand rooms. It seats just under 1400 audience members and there are a couple more performance rooms, one seating 200 and the other 400. The design of the building was to give the impression that it was coming out of the water, and this was achieved by the marble and white granite covering.

More recent than our last entry, this theater first became a thought in 1999. There was a competition to find the perfect designer and out of more than three hundred entries the architectural design firm Snøhetta was chosen. Construction took a total of four years, beginning in 2003 and ending in 2007.

Construction was a success for other reasons as well. Not only was the building completed under the time they had allotted, they didn’t spend nearly as much money as they had anticipated. With a gala and events to celebrate, The Oslo Opera House officially opened on April 12, 2008 and Harald V, reigning king of Norway, attended along with Queen Margrethe II of Denmark and Finland’s President Tarja Halonen.

In 2008 the Oslo Opera House was given the culture award from the World Architecture Festival that was held in Barcelona that year. The next year Snøhetta won the European Union Prize for Contemporary Architecture. The building is designed specifically with a large opening plaza with great widows that make it a great place to wander around on foot and get a truly unique view of Oslo.

Artists designed the tower above the stage that is dressed in white aluminum that utilizes weaving patterns of old. A horseshoe shaped auditorium is where one will see their show and it is lit by a chandelier that has nearly 6,000 crystals hanging from it, all hand made.

Monica Bonvicini was commissioned to create a sculpture contrived from stainless steel and glass, it is titled She Lies. It sits out on the water and moves with the surge of waves and the blowing wind. This enables it to change constantly to those that are viewing.

Another unique feature is the curtain for the main stage, which was created to resemble wrinkly aluminum foil. Pae White is the mind behind the curtain and computers were utilized in its creation. They scanned an actual piece of crumpled foil and then the computer read the data to a loom that wove the curtain and gave it a three-dimensional look.


3. National Theater and Concert Hall – Taipei, Taiwan

Located in Liberty Square, a public mall in the Zhongzheng District of Taipei, Taiwan. The square was created in the late 1970s while the duo performing arts center known as the National Theater and Concert Hall were erected in 1987. Just to the east of the theater is Chiang Kai-shek Memorial Hall and, as a unit, the two structures are referred to as NTCH.

The entire plaza is alongside Ketagalan Boulevard, which is where the Presidential Office Building, the National Central Library, the 228 Peace Memorial Park, and the National Taiwan Museum is located. These two structures are the very first performing arts centers constructed of modern age in Asia. When Kai-shek passed away in 1975, the government created a cultural art services center and monument.

Yet the theater and concert hall took much more time and wasn’t finished until September of 1987. Lee Teng-hui, Vice President, and Yu Kuo-hwa, Premier, oversaw the festivities to celebrate its opening on October 31st of that same year.

The two spaces are able to have shows at the same time without disturbing the other. They are also known to have outdoor events and the enormous pipe organ in the National Concert Hall is the largest of its kind in Asia, at least at the time of its installation in 1987. It was designed by Flentrop Orgelbouw.

Along with the two performing spaces there are shops, restaurants, libraries, and art galleries in the square. They publish their Performing Arts Review of Taiwan in the Performing Arts Library.


4. The Castle Baroque Theatre

Located in Český Krumlov, Czech Republic, this theater is significant in the world of architecture. It is well preserved and the decorations that adorn its walls, ceilings, and stage are in great condition. Not only is it well preserved, The Castle Baroque Theatre is said to still have the original torso of the stage machinery and inventory.

Almost entirely in its original form, this theater was constructed in 1682 with nearly everything else that still sits in it, including the equipment, the auditorium, and paintings. These structures date back to the eighteenth century with a few exceptions.

Prince Johan Kristián of Eggenberg decreed the construction of the building in 1682 and Jakub de Maggi and Pietro Spinetta began their plans.  Once the theater opened and works from artists like Lope de Vega, William Shakespeare, Moliere, Jean Racine, Calderon de la Barca and Pierre Corneille were regularly performed and became a part of their repertoire.

The Castle Baroque Theatre is still a completely useful theater and museum, which you will see if you ever take a trip that way. The original wood benches are still in place and beautiful baroque paintings hang on the walls. The pit for the orchestra has a unique two-sided music stand for the orchestra.

Named the Castle Baroque Theater, this final arena on our list is called this because it sits with other buildings that made up the grand castle for royalty. There is the Little Castle and Castle tower, which are the two oldest structures included in the compound. There are guided tours and a museum for visitors to educate themselves about the rich history of this compound, the theater and its history.

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