Palaces of Music

Opera Houses of Europe Text by Michael Forsyth and Rolf Sachsse

The book commences with Classical, Baroque and Rococo theatres – miraculous early survivors – from Palladio’s exquisite Teatro Olimpico, Vicenza, the forerunner of later theatres, to the charming court theatres at Drottningholm in Stockholm, and the beautiful Margrave’s Opera House, Bayreuth and San Carlo in Naples. The grand nineteenth-century opera houses portrayed include the Paris Opera House (Palais Garnier), the rebuilt Teatro La Fenice, Venice, and Prague State Opera.
Finally, the book portrays recent architectural masterpieces by some of the world’s leading architects including opera houses at Valencia, Lyon and Oslo.

To accompany Ertuğ’s remarkable photography, in a separate text volume Michael Forsyth describes the architecture of each opera house and its social and musical history, including stories of human passion and intrigue that they can tell. Forsyth begins with an introduction that traces the rise of opera, the evolution of opera house architecture, and the musical and social demands of different nations and periods, with the remarkable effects these had on opera house acoustics.

The final section of the book contains an erudite essay, ‘Grand Opera Through the Grand Lens’, by Professor Rolf Sachsse, distinguished photographer, photographic historian, curator, and critic who currently holds the chair in Design History and Design Theory at the Saar University of Fine Arts (Hochschule der Bildenden Künste Saar), Saarbrücken. This chapter puts into context the oeuvre of Ahmet Ertuğ, one of the world’s leading protagonists of pictorial art in our time, and through which readers will appreciate the art of photography displayed in this book on a different level.

Ahmet Ertuğ trained as an architect in London before turning to photography. His artistry draws a deeply meditative energy and involves the observer in the intellectual content of his subjects. He has held major exhibitions in Paris, New York, London and Vienna and has a permanent exhibition of his work in the Hagia Sophia, Istanbul.

Michael Forsyth is an architect and historian and wrote the award-winning and widely-translated book, “Buildings for Music: the Architect, the Musician and the Listener from the seventeenth century to the present day”.

Palaces of Music Palaces of Music Palaces of Music


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