First up, The Seebühne. This is a floating stage that gets erected every year for the Bregenz Festival. It’s on Lake Constance in Austria and has 7,000 seats (on dry land). The festival started in 1946 with two barges – one for the set and one for the orchestra, who performed Mozart. The picture below is from 1960 – the first year that ballet became part of the festival. Check out this Google images search for more recent productions – the stages are simply breathtaking in size, ambition and beauty.
Palau de la Música Catalana
To Barcelona now and the Palau de la Música Catalana. In 1997, this Art Nouveau building became a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Designed by Lluís Domènech i Montane, for a Catalan choral society, it was built between 1905 and 1908. Look at the intricacy and attention to detail (and the height!) applied to just a corridor – pictured below. Makes you want to go and see the rest, right? If you’re not in Barcelona any time soon, explore the auditorium with a virtual tour.
The Royal Albert Hall
The Royal Albert Hall in London. Opened in 18971, the concert hall was designed to promote understanding and appreciation of the Arts and Sciences. To that end, an almost 250 metre long mosaic circles the building and depicts the advancement of the Arts and Sciences across the world. Explore the history of this building through its Time Machine!
The Odeon of Herodes Atticus
To Greece now, and almost the oldest theatre in our list. The Odeon of Herodes Atticus, or ‘The Herodeon’, in Athens. It was completed in 174 AD, but destroyed and left ruined less than 100 years later by the Heruli – an East Germanic tribe who attacked Greece from the Black Sea. Fast forward to a restoration project in the 1950s and the Athens Festival was born. In 2017, the festival saw 114 productions presented in venues across the city.
Hellbrunn Palace gardens
And finally to our last, and oldest, theatre. And probably one you’ve never heard of. A theatre carved by nature out of rock. Despite the typo in the image title, I think this location can be tracked down to the gardens of Hellbrunn Palace, Salzburg. There’s no information to be found nowadays about performances here. The park is now home to water gardens with trick fountains! But I was enchanted by the image and just had to include it in this list.