Teatro La Fenice in Venice
This theater was built at the end of the 18th century (1790-1792). It was named “La Fenice” (The Phoenix), in an allusion to the company’s survival, first of the fire, then of expulsion from its former base. La Fenice was inaugurated on May 16, 1792, with an opera by Giovanni Paisiello entitled “I Giochi di Agrigento”.
Then, it was destroyed once again by fire in 1996. This event was front-page news and engendered a major international effort to rebuild. Many celebrities led such efforts: American filmmaker Woody Allen was one of the most active.
However, it has endured two major fires; the first in 1836, and the second as a result of arson in 1996. Despite its setbacks, The Fenice remains one of the most famous and influential opera houses in Italy – in the 19th century, La Fenice became the site of many famous operatic premieres at which the works of several of the four major era composers – Rossini, Bellini, Donizetti, Verdi – were performed.