La Fenice Theatre in Venice is one of the
world's most prestigious opera houses and stands in the neighbourhood of San
Marco. Designed by Giannantonio Selva, it was inaugurated in 1792: its stage has
seen performances by famous directors and composers, such as Verdi, Strauss,
Mascagni and Wagner.
Two fires have seen La Fenice [Italian for The
Phoenix] "rise from its ashes". The first in 1836 was probably caused
by a faulty stove. It was rebuilt by Tommaso and G.B. Meduna, who revised the
original project. The second was in 1996: the terrible blaze, due to arson,
destroyed the entire building.
The theatre was rebuilt exactly as it was and
was newly inaugurated in December 2003.
The Venetian theatre features a neoclassical
façade, preceded by a wide flight of steps opening out on to Campo San Fantin,
and with niches containing sculptures representing Music and Dance. It has five
different areas: Sale Apollinea, Sala del Teatro, Torre Scenica, North Wing,