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19 wondrous opera houses

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

Photo: Pan Xunbin/Shutterstock

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Guangzhou Opera House in China

China's futuristic, high-tech Guangzhou Opera House, which overlooks the Pearl River, was designed by famed Pritzker Prize-winning architect Zaha Hadid. Its "unique twin-boulder design," as Hadid's website calls it, "is inspired by the idea of two rocks washed by the Pearl River," according to the opera house website. Inside, the concepts of fluidity, erosion and smooth transitions are consistent throughout the decor.

Opened in 2010, the Guangzhou Opera House is one of the three biggest theaters in China and the flagship theater for China Performing Arts Agency. The auditorium, made from concrete and glass-fiber reinforced gypsum, has state-of-the-art sound systems, 1,804 seats, and lights dotting the ceiling like stars in the night sky. A separate concert-in-the-round-style theater seats 400.