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19 wondrous opera houses

By: Angela Nelson on Aug. 18, 2016, 6:42 a.m.
Sydney Opera House

Photo: Jason Tong/Wikimedia Commons

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Act I

A trip to the opera house is a feast for your ears as you listen to the soaring voices of sopranos and masterful music from the orchestra. But it's a feast for your eyes, too, and we don't just mean the gorgeous costuming. Detailed frescoes on the ceiling, giant murals on the wall, sparkling chandeliers, lush curtains, tidy rows of plush seats and dazzling details combine to give these theaters a grand yet intimate feeling.

Many of these buildings date back hundreds of years and have stories to tell — about political turmoil, war, economic hardships and even murder. As they stood the test of time and offered patrons a brief escape from reality, these landmarks became the pride of their respective cities. From the gorgeously ornate opera houses in Paris and Milan to the modern concert halls in Sydney (interior pictured) and China to the traditional red-and-gold theaters in London and Italy, here are 19 elaborate opera houses from around the world.