The famous architect Gottfried Semper designed and built the first Semper Opera between 1838 and 1841, in the style of the early Italian Renaissance. Richard Wagner was appointed as musical director in 1843, but the original building burned down in 1869. Semper drew up the plans for the new Royal Court Theater including all the interior decorations while living in Vienna. When he was finished, he entrusted his son Manfred with the supervision of the building work, which was carried out from 1871-1878.
The new version of the Opera was built in the style of the Italian High Renaissance. Countless world class premieres by famous conductors and directors were staged here. On August 31st , 1944, the season closed with a performance of Webers “Freischütz.” A few months later, on February 13th , 1945, the opera was destroyed again, this time in an air raid. Restoration work began in 1977 under the direction of W. Hänsch. In 1985, exactly 40 years after its last destruction, the Semper Opera was inaugurated for the third time with yet another performance of “Freischütz.”
Today, visitors can again admire the exact reconstruction of the original building. From the splendid foyer one passes through the richly decorated staircase, vestibules and walkways to the perfectly restored auditorium, the decor of which is particularly magnificent.