Royal Opera House

Valletta, Malta

Royal Opera House


The Royal Opera House, also known as the Royal Theatre (Maltese: It-Teatru Rjal, Italian: Teatro Reale), was an opera house and performing arts venue in Valletta, Malta. It was designed by the English architect Edward Middleton Barry and was erected in 1866. In 1873 its interior was extensively damaged by fire but was eventually restored by 1877. The theatre received a direct hit from aerial bombing in 1942 during World War II. Prior to its destruction, it was one of the most beautiful and iconic buildings in Valletta. After several abandoned plans to rebuild the theatre, the ruins were redesigned by the Italian architect Renzo Piano and in 2013 it once again started functioning as a performance venue, called Pjazza Teatru Rjal.

The design of the building was entrusted to Edward Middleton Barry, the architect of Covent Garden Theatre, and the classic design plan was completed by 1861. The original plans had to be altered because the sloping streets on the sides of the theatre had not been taken into consideration. This resulted in a terrace being added on the side of Strada Reale (nowadays Republic Street) designed by Maltese architects.

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