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Opéra des Nations Geneva

Opened in February 2016 and located next to the European headquarters of the United Nations, you can find the temporary wooden home for the opera of Geneva. Read on to find out more.

This building, constructed entirely from wood, will be the home of Geneva’s opera for the next two and a half years whilst the city’s iconic Grand Théâtre undergoes extensive (and expensive) renovations. While smaller than the theatre seating 400 hundred less people, it can still seat an impressive 1,100 and tickets for shows at the Opéra des Nations will be cheaper too.

Built entirely from wood, the opera house is rather impressively an upcycling project too. Originally it started life in Paris as a temporary building whilst the city’s Comédie Francaise underwent its own renovations. In 2014, the city of Geneva acquired the pieces of the building which had been disassembled, and an expert team put them back together, enlarging it as they did.

While structurally stunning, the building also boasts fantastic acoustic qualities with the first opera performed there in February, Handel’s ‘Alcina’, being well received by the audience. One drawback to the temporary opera house is that there is reduced orchestra space, with a capacity of 70 less musicians than in the Théâtre. Due to this the repertoire performed for the next two and a half years will predominantly feature works form the 17th and 18th centuries, as well as contemporary work that do not require larger orchestras.

If you are staying in Geneva, then take this opportunity to check out this incredible recycled structure. You can also take advantage of the cheaper tickets on offer too!