The beauty of opera is only matched by the places in which it’s performed. These grandiose settings fuse fine art with architecture into one stunning cultural center. For centuries, these places have been at the height of society, showcasing the talents of countless performers and musicians. When not filled with people, however, the opera houses stand on their own as breathtaking institutions. As photography demonstrates, the design—including ornamental gilding, balustrades, and chandeliers—is even more stunning when the seats and stage are completely empty.
As times continue to change, so does the function of these iconic spaces. Often, they host a variety of shows (aside from operas), and their historic decor provides a beautiful juxtaposition between the past and present.