Zurich Opera House (Opernhaus Zürich)
The Zurich Opera House is home to the Zurich Opera, the Bernhard-Theater Zurich, and the Zurich Ballet. It was designed by Ferdinand Fellner and Hermann Helmer and was built on the site of a theater that burned down in 1890. The auditorium seats up to 1,100 people, and the detailed paintings on the ceiling keep visitors entertained before the shows even start. Hundreds of operas, ballets, recitals, and other concerts are held here annually, and it’s one of the most internationally acclaimed venues of its kind. Whether or not you see a performance here, the Zurich Opera House is worth visiting. Visitors can get inside with a ticket to a show, or as part of a guided tour.
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Things to know before you go
- Four wheelchair spaces are reserved for each performance, and adults accompanying wheelchair-users receive discounted tickets.
- The Bernhard Bar Café serves refreshments.
- The dress code is formal, even for matinee performances.
- If buying tickets for a performance, check your allocated seats carefully before committing as it’s very difficult to see the stage from some seats.
- Subtitles are usually provided to help non-German-speakers understand the performances.
How to get there
The Zurich Opera House is located on Falkenstrasse, on the northeast shore of Lake Zurich. It’s within walking distance of the Old Town area as well the large Zurich Stadelhofen railway station, which connects to many other parts of the city.
When to get there
Most performances are held in the evenings, with some matinee timings too. If you come in the weeks leading up to Christmas, you should try to arrive early to browse the Christmas Market that’s set up just outside the Opera House. Guided tours in German are held on Saturday afternoons and last 1.5 hours.
Visit the Lausanne Opera
Classical music lovers should also check out the Lausanne Opera in the city of Lausanne, near Geneva. This well-reputed opera was opened in 1871 and produces and co-produces its own performances, which are held every month of the year.
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