Vienna’s Burgtheater (“City Theater”) has experienced a peripatetic life. When it was first formed by Maria Theresa, in A.D. 1741, it was housed in the Imperial Palace. 10 years later, it moved to the Königliches Theater nächst der Burg (Royal Theatre near the Palace). This is where 3 of Mozart’s operas had their premieres: Die Entführung aus dem Serail (A.D. 1782), Le nozze di Figaro (A.D. 1786), and Così fan tutte (A.D. 1790).
The Old Burgtheater
In A.D. 1888, Die Burg left its old haunt and took up residence in this Neo-Renaissance building on the new Ringstrasse. The move was a moderate disaster. The acoustics were abysmal, half the audience couldn’t see the stage, and people missed the old Burg. It was closed in A.D. 1897 for renovations, re-opened, and then set on fire during Allied bombing in World War II. Restoration efforts took 3 years.