The Romanian National Opera in Timişoara, housed inside the Palace of Culture, is one of the most prestigious cultural institutions in the country. It offers its public around 100 high quality and extremely appreciated opera, operetta and ballet performances a year.
The Palace of Culture is one of Timişoara’s cultural and architectural masterpieces. The edifice was built between 1871 and 1875 after the plans of the two Viennese architects, Helmer and Fellner, who also designed the National Theatre in Iași. The building burned down twice, the first fire taking place in 1880. The restoration works lasted for 2 years, but the palace’s initial structure was kept. However, the second fire, that took place in 1920, produced important changes in the building’s architecture. The Renaissance style of the facades was replaced with the Neo-Byzantine one, very popular at that time, and only the lateral sides of the palace were maintained. The paintings inside the palace present traditional motifs, but also scenes from Romanian folk tales.
On March 30th 1946, King Mihai I signed the royal decree through which he founded the Romanian National Opera in Timişoara. The inaugural performance, which took place on April 27th 1947, was an exceptional staging of Verdi’s “Aida”. According to the chronicles of the time, it was an unforgettable show, of high artistic value, a triumph of the Romanian interpretative art. Just as unforgettable are the opera’s performances, which have taken its fame outside the country’s boundaries, to international festivals, such as the Wiener Fest Spiel (Austria), the Opera Festival in Lecce (Italy), India International Dance Festival, the Opera Festival in Locarno (Switzerland) or the Opera Festival in Szeged (Hungary). On November 24th 2004, the Romanian Opera in Timişoara received the title of National Opera.
Nowadays, the Palace of Culture presents a unique phenomenon in the world: four different art institutions unfold their activities under the same roof. These institutions are The Romanian National Opera, Mihai Eminescu National Theatre, The German State Theatre and Csiky Gergely Hungarian Theatre.
How to get there:
The Romanian National Opera is situated in Timişoara city centre, at 2 minutes walking distance from the Museum of the Banat and 3 minutes from the City Hall.
By bus: From Traian Vuia Airport, take Express #4 (E4), which will take you to the centre of the city. Approximate travel time is 20min.