Academy of Music
Broad and Locust Streets, Philadelphia, PA 19102
Owned by the Philadelphia Orchestra and part of the Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts, this magnificent 19th century opera house is the oldest venue in the United States still used for its original purpose.
Since its opening in 1857 the Academy has seen events such as the American premiere of Faust and performances by such legendary figures as Tchaikovsky, Strauss, Rachmaninoff, Saint-Saëns, Mahler and many others. 1902 saw a series of operas produced by Pietro Mascagni. A 1907 performance of Madama Butterfly starring Caruso and Farrar was attended by Puccini.
The Academy's acoustics and the demands of operatic scenery were given careful consideration during the planning phase in 1855 by the architects, LeBrun and Rungé. Their success was attested in 1857 by the New York Tribune: "Of all the remarkable things brought to attention by the opening of this new temple of the Muses, the beauty of the scenery attracted the most admiration.... The great height of the stage and the excellent arrangement of the 'flies' added increased charms to this department..."