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Linz’s new opera house

Europe's latest opera hall was opened in April 2013

Whist still reminiscing about the glittering grand opening celebration, daily productions are already beginning at the most modern opera house in Europe, Linz’s new Musiktheater at the Volksgarten, including all sorts of highlights: Philip Glass composed the opera "Spuren der Verirrten" (Traces of the Lost) to a text by Peter Handke specially for the opening of the new institution. With Mozart’s "Magic Flute", Johann Strauss' "The Bat" and Richard Strauss' "The Knight of the Rose", the first season holds a very diverse programme in store. The musical "The Witches of Eastwick" will celebrate its premiere in Austria. And starting in autumn 2013, Richard Wagner’s tetralogy "The Ring of the Nibelung" will also be on the programme.

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Even the architecture is futuristic. With the opera house and theatre hall on the green Volksgarten, the architecture firm of Terry Pawson in London is creating a connection between the neighbourhood of Bahnhofsviertel and the city centre. The theatre is a five-storey building with two floors of cellars and the stage tower comprises three further levels. The façade surrounds the building like a huge curtain and is wrapped around it. The 1.5-metre-wide areas that are created are either decorated or fully glassed for illumination, depending on what is needed. In this way, the window openings are easily integrated without disrupting the uniform character of the external cover.

Pawson also continues with the curtain metaphor on the inside. The Linz Opera will be the first theatre in Austria with a multi-functional turning stage, which at 32 metres is the centre of the stage.