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Zurich Opera House

And even today, the classical building with its turbulent history and multifaceted repertoire delights visitors both young and old. Don't miss this landmark during your trip to Zurich and enjoy the ballet, opera, philharmonic or popular theatre in this historic building. Meanwhile, you can find out everything you need to know about the famous opera house here.


History of the Opera House

It all began with the Actien Theatre, where a masterpiece was performed at the premiere in 1834. Thus the city's first theatre opened with Mozart's Magic Flute. However, after the historic theatre had already burned to the ground in 1890, a new building designed by Fellner and Helmer was erected on Lake Zurich. The building was almost entirely privately financed and inaugurated as a new municipal theatre in 1891 with Wagner's Lohengrin. The premiere of the opera Moses und Aron by composer Arnold Schörberg in 1957 finally brought the opera house into the international spotlight. After various performances and growing popularity with the city audience, music theatre and drama were separated from 1921 onwards. Nevertheless, it took until 1964 for the old municipal theatre to be officially renamed the opera house.

Between 1982 and 1984, the opera house was also extensively renovated and expanded, so that today there is room for about 1,100 spectators in the fantastic building. In addition, the theatre and Tonhalle orchestras separated in 1985, resulting in the Zurich Opera Orchestra. With the beginning of Andreas Homoki's directorship, this orchestra became the Zurich Philharmonic. Cecilia Bartoli sang Le nozze di Figaro for the first time at the opera house. In addition, after opera director Christoph Groszer, Alexander Pereira also provided a breath of fresh air as artistic director of the opera house. Last but not least, the opera house has been thrilling audiences with its own baroque ensemble and chamber orchestra since 1995.

If you are interested in more details about the historical development of the opera house, you can find them in the city archives.


Bernhard Theatre

The fascinating programme of the Zurich Opera House AG also includes the charming Bernhard Theater. This theatre, founded in 1941 by folk actor and comedian Rudolf Bernhard, today attracts audiences with a colourful potpourri of folk theatre, comedy, musicals and an exciting children's programme.

Switzerland's largest professional ballet company was directed by Christian Spuck for eleven years and today, with its almost 40 dancers, not only thrills audiences in the opera house, but also shows its skills at various international guest performances in Europe and around the world. This ensemble has made a name for itself worldwide, especially with its ballet adaptation of the Tolstoy novel Anna Karenina.


The current programme offers visitors to the opera house a spectacular programme. Among other things, an artistic evening with a philharmonic concert conducted by Sergei Rachmaninoff, the opera Mathis der Maler by Paul Hindemith, Beethoven's Symphony No. 5, as well as a homage to the German composer Wolfgang Rihm or a song recital with Juan Diego Flórez, one of the best opera singers in the world, will entice them. Furthermore, various song recitals with first-class instrumentation such as Sabine Devieilhe and Mathieu Pordoy (piano, Mon, 12 June 2023) at Zurich Opera House invite you to enjoy. Or listen to Johannes Brahms (Gianandrea) A German Requiem, op. 45 and be enthralled by the talented General Music Director (Brahms) Gianandrea Noseda.

The latest information on the various highlights of the programme, as well as numerous concerts, workshops or guided tours with a musical extra, can be found around the clock on the official website of the Opera House. This is the first place to find out what's on the programme during your visit to Zurich!


Young programme

The multifaceted programme of the young opera proves that opera is not only something for lovers of classical art, but can also inspire younger visitors. In addition to exciting guided tours of the theatre, there are also various dance and choir workshops to join in and try out. In addition, children from the age of seven can experience great things in the unique Impro-Op (improvised opera). Meanwhile, the Honk! series with its enchanting fairy tales on the sound carpet is ideal for younger children. Young people aged 16 and over, on the other hand, are sure to enjoy the Monteverdi workshop series. If you would like to find out more about the young programme at Zurich Opera, you can find all the latest details here.

...Or want to take advantage of an exciting city trip, with us you are guaranteed to find a suitable hotel in Zurich.

For example, book a comfortable room at the Hotel B&B HOTEL Zurich East Wallisellen to explore both the historic district of Zurich with its numerous sights and the Kunsthaus Zürich as well as the waterfront, the beautiful Bellevue Castle or the surrounding countryside. Book a single, double or family room at the Hotel Flughafen Zürich and benefit from excellent connections to Zurich Airport or even Zurich train station. Or get to know the hotels in Zurich city centre on our website.

Whichever accommodation you choose, we offer fantastic value for money and excellent services. Not only do we offer free high-speed Wi-Fi, but also a comprehensive breakfast buffet with sweet and savoury treats, as well as numerous tips on worthwhile excursion destinations, activities or restaurants. In addition, all B&B HOTELS offer you the possibility of arriving together with your pet. Please contact us for more information.

We look forward to welcoming you to Zurich.