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Opéra Royal de Wallonie-Liège (Acerca de)

Liège, Bélgica

Acerca de

Liège and the opera: a building, a story

Although theater and music have always played a major role in the cultural life of the city of Liège, a real institution appeared only about 200 years ago. Inaugurated on November 4, 1820, the Liège Theater was built upon the ruins of a former Dominican convent which was given to the city by William of Orange on the condition that the city council build a theater.

The architect Auguste Dukers was in charge of the construction, and the first stone was laid in 1818. Two years later, the city dwellers discovered the colonnade harmonizing the facade and the cubic shape of this elegant neoclassical building.

To pay tribute to the greatest composer born in Liège, a statute of André Grétry was erected in front of the opera house. The statue of André Grétry has been hosting, since 1842, the heart of the composer.

The First World War was a difficult time for the city of Liège. Requisitioned by the German army, the building was used as a stable and dormitory. The building returned to its original purpose only in 1919.

The season 1967 is a turning point in the history of the musical institution, with the creation of the Opéra Royal de Wallonie-Liège, gathering the former companies of the Theatre of Liège and of the Theatre of Verviers. The successive directors of the Opéra Royal de Wallonie-Liège, Raymond Rossius, Paul Danblon, Jean-Louis Grinda, Stefano Mazzonis di Pralafera, have since then left an imperishable mark on the city's cultural life.

Renovated several times, in 1930, in 1959, in 1976, in 1999, and at last from 2009 to 2012, the building offers nowadays to the spectator a remarkable frame combining modern and ancient elements, which historical parts such as the large foyer, the grand staircases and the room recovered their original splendor.