The Big Show: 7 Global Theatres That Have Become the Biggest Stages for Classical Music and Dance - Arts & Culture

The list includes a performing arts center in Beijing that opened just 15 years ago.

Fifteen years ago, Rolex began a partnership with Monaco’s performing arts venue, The Opéra de Monte Carlo, to help preserve and advance various art forms like classical music, opera, and ballet. Since then, six other historical theatres that share the brand’s values for excellence for arts excellence now have their sponsorship. 

READ ALSO: Keep On Playing: How Rolex Is Celebrating And Preserving Classical Music

Classical musicians have been added to the Rolex brand ambassadors list to encourage these artforms further. These include soprano Dame Kiri Te Kanawa (who performed at Prince Charles and Princess Diana’s wedding), tenor Jonas Kaufmann, Sir Antonio Pappano, who all routinely perform at one or more venues.

The seven venues across Europe, North America, and Asia have the 117-year-old brand as their Official Timepiece.

Royal Opera House 

The opulent Royal Opera House in London’s Covent Garden is one of the UK’s most well-known performing arts venues. It’s the home of its own orchestra, The Royal Ballet, and The Royal Opera. Every year, it hosts over 500 performances.

Some famous conductors, directors, and artists graced its stages are Plácido Domingo, Sir Bryn Terfel, Dame Kiri Te Kanawa—three musicians Rolex also sponsors. The watchmaker has been the Royal Opera House’s partner since 2008. 

Teatro Alla Scala 

Located in Milan, Teatro Alla Scala, also known as La Scala, is the main opera house in Italy. It’s where classical music greats Rossini, Verdi, and Puccini composed and performed and where conductor Arturo Toscanini rehearsed in the Sala Gialla.

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The theatre’s name directly translates to “theatre at the stairway”—it derives from being built on the spot of Santa Maria Alla Scala, a Gothic church. Since 2006, Rolex has been the venue’s Exclusive Timepiece.

The Metropolitan Opera

The site, conceived in 1883, is the largest classical music organization in North America. Sometimes referred to as “the Met,” it’s inside New York’s Lincoln Center for Performing Arts, which also houses a concert hall, theatre, and a conservatory.

Last April 2019, the Met celebrated Spanish tenor and Rolex Testimonee Plácido Domingo’s 50th anniversary of performing on its stage. The Switzerland-based brand has been the venue’s Official Timepiece since August 2011.

National Centre for the Performing Arts

Founded in 2007, National Centre for the Performing Arts is the newest venue on the list. It’s located in Beijing, close to the China capital’s landmarks such as the Great Hall of People, Forbidden City, and Tiananmen Square.

Beijing’s National Centre for the Performing Arts / Photo courtesy of Rolex

The venue was designed by French architect Paul Andreu and had four areas: the Opera House, Concert Hall, the Theatre, and the Multifunctional Theatre. Since 2009, Rolex has been an Exclusive Timepiece of the National Centre for Performing Arts.

Opera National de Paris 

The opera company in Paris is the oldest of its kind globally. In fact, it was founded by King Louis XIV in 1669 to give French performers a chance to be at par with those of Italy. In addition, classical ballet as we know it today arose at the Paris Opera Ballet, which is part of the same company.

The location’s venues include structures by architects Charles Garnier and Carlos Ott called the Palais Garnier and Opera Bastille. Rolex has been the Timepiece of the Opera National de Paris since 2014. 

The Opéra de Monte Carlo 

Designed by Charles Garnier, the same architect who birthed the Palais Garnier of Opera National de Paris, also created Monaco’s The Opéra de Monte Carlo.

The 600-seat baroque-style concert hall opened in 1879 and has hosted over fifty opera world premieres including Massenet’s Don Quichotte, featuring Feodor Chaliapin, in 1910, and Ravel’s L’enfant et les sortilèges in 1925.  Rolex has been the venue’s partner since 2006. 

Teatro Colon 

In Buenos Aires, Rolex has been the Official Timepiece of Teatro Colon since 2010. It’s globally recognized for its excellent acoustics and architecture; the Argentinian venue celebrated its current building’s 100th anniversary in 2008. It has an area of 58,000 square meters and the ability to complete entire productions in its workshops, so they’re able to set up on their own. 

.Banner courtesy of Rolex

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