Oper Leipzig and Leipzig Gewandhausorchester Are Amongst the Oldest In the World:
Leipzig can trace its opera history back to 1693 when the first Oper Leipzig was established, making it the third oldest opera house after La Fenice in Venice and the Hamburg State Opera.
With the opening of the Neues Theater (New Theatre) on Augustusplatz in 1868, this became the base for Leipzig opera and drama performances. Some of the eminent conductors who performed here have included Arthur Seidl, Arthur Nikisch and Gustav Mahler.
However, the present Oper Leipzig at Augustusplatz 12 is a much more recent and modern opera house. It was built in 1956 after the Neues Theater was destroyed during the air raid in December 1943. Its inauguration took place on October 8, 1960 with the performance of Wagner’s Die Meistersinger von Nurnberg.
The foyer of Oper Leipzig was extensively refurbished in 2007, preserving its original attributes. The opera house has a capacity of 1267 seats and a large repertoire of performances take place here during its opera season.
The Leipzig Opera does not have its own opera orchestra, and the Leipzig Gewandhausorchester (Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra) performs as the orchestra for the opera. This relationship dates back to 1766. The Leipzig Gewandhausorchester’s origin can be traced back to 1743, making it the oldest symphony orchestra in the world. Great composers like Felix Mendelssohn and other famous conductors have led this orchestra.
The Oper Leipzig is the eastern part of the old town, considered the heart of musical Leipzig. To get to the opera house, catch any of the following trams: 4, 7, 8, 10, 11, 12, 15, 16 – Stop Augustusplatz.