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Latvian National Opera (Riga)

Latvian National Opera (Riga)




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Description of Latvian National Opera of Riga

Latvian National Opera (Riga)  Latvian National Opera (Riga)

Latvian National Opera of Riga was constructed in 1863 by the architect Ludwig Bohnstedt from Saint Petersburg, capital of the Russian Empire. The building, where the National Opera and Ballet of Latvia is now located, was built in the city center in 1863 as the 1st city (German) theater (architect Ludwig Bonstedt). The Governor-General of Riga, Alexander Suvorov-Rymnikovsky (grandson of Generalissimo Suvorov), persuaded Emperor Alexander II to strike out Riga from the list of imperial fortresses, as the city was cramped inside the ramparts, and only wooden buildings were allowed outside of them. This allowed to demolish the ramparts and free space for new buildings. St. Petersburg's Ludwig Bonstedt won the competition for the design of the First City or German Theater, the project was approved in September 1860 by Emperor Alexander II. The facade of the Latvian National Opera of Riga was decorated with a pediment depicting Apollo and other mythological characters.


On 16 June 1882 the building burned down and was rebuilt under the direction of the architect Reinhold Schmaeling (1840-1917). Since 1919, the Latvian National Opera has been housed in this building.

From 1996 to 2003 Gintaras Rinkevičius worked as Artistic Director and Chief Conductor and from 2007 to 2009 as Chief Guest Conductor. From 2003 to 2007 Andris Nelsons was chief conductor of the Latvian National Opera.









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