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Teatro La Fenice, 1837

It has always been a place of artifice, where even the natural has a sprinkling of stage dust. It glitters. The houses and churches have the air of stage properties, sited for the convenience of the eye. The arches and the stairs are mere effects. The palace of the doge, and the basilica of Saint Mark, take their place before the proscenium of Saint Mark's Square.Peter Ackroyd, Venice: Pure City

Venice played a key role in the evolution of modern European theatre. The elaborate ceremonials surrounding the Doge, especially the Marriage to the Sea and religious processions were pure stage play.

Ludwig Passini, Venetian Procession

Artists such as Gentile Bellini not only recorded events in the city but designed temporary stage sets, triumphal arches, ornate barges and other essentials for pageants and receiving VIPS from abroad.

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Teatro Goldoni

Venice's oldest surviving theatre

Teatro La Fenice

The Phoenix of Operas

Teatro Malibran

Venice's second theatre

Text © Dana Facaros & Michael Pauls

Images by PD Art