Grand-Théâter, Geneva

Grand-Théâter, Geneva

As with many other opera houses, the Grand Théâtre de Genève is both a venue and an institution. The majestic edifice, towering over Place Neuve, officially opened in 1876; partly destroyed by fire in 1951 and reopened in 1962, after extensive refurbishments, it houses the largest stage in Switzerland. As an institution, it is the largest production and host theatre in French-speaking Switzerland, featuring opera and dance performances, recitals, concerts and, occasionally, theatre.

The first stone in its foundation was laid in 1875, and the official inauguration took place in 1879 with a performance of Rossini's William Tell opening the season. The new building was rated among the ten best opera houses in Europe, close behind the recently completed Palais Garnier in Paris, from which it drew considerable architectural inspiration, in its Second Empire (Neo-Baroque) style.

The first Grand Théâtre was not only lavishly decorated; its technical infrastructure was also state-of-the-art for the period, featuring a stage curtain powered by hydraulic pressure from the nearby Usine des Forces Motrices power plant on the river Rhône, and electrical lights replacing the gas lighting during performances.

On 1 May 1951 at 12:08 pm, while stagehands were preparing a set for the third act of Wagner's Die Walküre, a terrible fire broke out, destroying the stage, fly loft, grid and gangways and their mechanical and electric machinery.

After the disaster, the City of Geneva commissioned several reconstruction projects. The reconstruction was finally conducted between 1958 and 1962. The Grand Théâtre reopened in December 1962, with the French version of Verdi's Don Carlos. Since this revival, several renowned directors have managed the Geneva opera house, including Marcel Lamy, Herbert Graf, Jean-Claude Riber, Hugues Gall, Renée Auphan, Jean-Marie Blanchard, and Tobias Richter.
Sight description based on wikipedia

Want to visit this sight? Check out these Self-Guided Walking Tours in Geneva. Alternatively, you can download the mobile app "GPSmyCity: Walks in 1K+ Cities" from iTunes App Store or Google Play. The app turns your mobile device to a personal tour guide and it works offline, so no data plan is needed when traveling abroad.

Download The GPSmyCity App

Download 'GPSmyCity: Walks in 1K+ Cities' app for IOS   Download 'GPSmyCity: Walks in 1K+ Cities' app for Android

Grand-Théâter on Map

Sight Name: Grand-Théâter
Sight Location: Geneva, Switzerland (See walking tours in Geneva)
Sight Type: Attraction/Landmark
Guide(s) Containing This Sight:

Walking Tours in Geneva, Switzerland

Create Your Own Walk in Geneva

Create Your Own Walk in Geneva

Creating your own self-guided walk in Geneva is easy and fun. Choose the city attractions that you want to see and a walk route map will be created just for you. You can even set your hotel as the start point of the walk.
Geneva Introduction Walking Tour

Geneva Introduction Walking Tour

The city of Geneva enjoys picturesque location at the southern tip of the expansive Lac Léman (aka Lake Geneva), surrounded by the Alps and Jura mountains, including the dramatic Mont Blanc peak.

The city was mentioned for the first time in Latin texts, by Caesar, with the spelling Genava, derived probably from the Celtic genawa- or genu- ("bend, knee"), in the sense of a bending...  view more

Tour Duration: 2 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 2.6 Km or 1.6 Miles
Chocolate Tour

Chocolate Tour

Chocolate started to gain popularity in Switzerland in the early 16th century, and has since evolved to become a highly appreciated Swiss commodity throughout the world. Almost every city or town in the country has at least one chocolate shop, and Geneva is by far no exception. Take this self-guided tour to acquaint yourself with the facets of Geneva's chocolate history and taste some of the...  view more

Tour Duration: 1 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 1.5 Km or 0.9 Miles
Historical Churches

Historical Churches

As the cradle of the Reformist movement in Europe, led by theologian Jean Calvin, the city of Geneva has no shortage of religious sites representing a great deal of historical and cultural value. If you're a dedicated Christian, a keen church goer or simply interested in objects of spirituality, take this self-guided tour to visit the most notable places of worship in Geneva.

Tour Duration: 1 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 2.2 Km or 1.4 Miles
Architectural Jewels

Architectural Jewels

Geneva has always been popular with tourists, drawn here, amid the variety of other attractions, by local architecture. The remarkable medieval and more contemporary buildings – Hotel de Ville, Cathedrale de St-Pierre, Schtroumph Buildings, and more – showing a mix of French and German influences, are fit to fascinate everyone. If you're interested in learning more about these and other...  view more

Tour Duration: 2 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 2.6 Km or 1.6 Miles
Best Swiss Watch Shops Tour

Best Swiss Watch Shops Tour

Swiss-made watches are known to be the best, when it comes to quality and precision. Some world-renowned brands, like Patek Phillipe, Swatch, Omega and Piaget, have been designed and masterminded in Geneva. The watch industry of the city dates back to the 16th century, and since then has constantly developed to produce the most desired timepieces. Take this self-guided tour for a closer look at...  view more

Tour Duration: 1 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 1.2 Km or 0.7 Miles