Updated: Jul 28, 2020
Quick FACTS 🧾
Architect: Gottfried Semper
Construction period: Originally built in 1841, then 1878 (first reconstruction) and 1985 (second reconstruction).
The Semperoper is the opera house of the Sächsische Staatsoper Dresden (Saxon State Opera) and the concert hall of the Staatskapelle Dresden(Saxon State Orchestra).
Official Website: http://www.semperoper.de
The Ultimate Dresden State Opera DVD
The opera house opened on 13 April 1841 with an opera by Carl Maria von Weber.
The building is considered to be a prime example of "Dresden Baroque" architecture. It is situated on the Theatre Square in central Dresden on the bank of the Elbe River. On top of the portal, there is a Panther quadriga with a statue of Dionysos.
The interior was created by architects of the time, such as Johannes Schilling. Monuments on the portal depict artists, such as Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, Friedrich Schiller, William Shakespeare, Sophocles, Molière and Euripides.
In 1945, during the last months of World War II, the building was largely destroyed again, this time by the bombing of Dresden and subsequent firestorm, leaving only the exterior shell standing. Exactly 40 years later, on 13 February 1985, the opera's reconstruction was completed. It was rebuilt to be almost identical to its appearance before the war, but with the benefit of new stage machinery and an accompanying modern rear service building.