Munich is very cutural city, and one of its cultural cornerstones is the Bavarian State Opera House, one of the leading opera houses in the world and a cultural icon for the city. It could not be better located, just a short walk from both Marienplatz and Odeonsplatz on swanky Maximilian Strasse, and the bellboys from top nearby hotels such as Bayerischer Hof and Vier Jahreszeiten spend a fair amount of time queuing up to get the very best tickets for their guests. A little atmosphere in the square in front of the opera house in this short clip below.
Sometimes the action takes place outside the opera house itself, as was the case in 2012 at the opening of the Munich Opera Festival with an installation by famed artist Spencer Tunick on June 23. Tunick's new work is entitled THE RING and in it about 1,700 of art lovers posed nude at several venues in downtown Munich. Check out the video below for some great choreography.
Of course most of the action takes place inside, and the Bavarian State Opera has a rich and lively programme. Here is an excerpt from Tristan and Isolde by Wagner a few years ago.
And the strangest fact about the opera house in Munich? It is home to 40,000 bees, who live in the roof and produce a special honey for the opear house. Sweet music indeed. Learn more here.
Munich's operatic history pre-dates the current building, and it dates back more than 350 years in nearby Residenz, where Elector Ferdinand Maria had built a theatre. She also got her hands on an old grain story on Salvatorplatz and converted it into the first freestanding opera house in all Germany. Opera in Munich was a success, and almost a century later, in 1751, Maximilian III commissioned court architect François Cuvilliés to design and construct another theatre, known today in Residenz as the theatre named after its architect.
Although magnificent, the Cuvilliés theatre could only accommodate 560 people, and so at the start of the 19th century, new king Max Joseph decided that Munich needed a new opera house on what was to become Max-Joseph-Platz after him. Construction started in 1811, but ws plagued by difficulties including financial problems due to the Napoleonic Wars, nad a fire in 1817, but the opera house was finally opened in 1818.
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