Doctor's Review: Medicine on the Move

October 18, 2021

The first-century Roman Theatre in Orange, France still has its acoustic stage wall intact

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Old-school opera

The Roman Theatre in Orange, France might very well be the best place to take in Richard Wagner and Giuseppe Verdi bicentenary opera celebrations. Built in the first century to accommodate the Gallo-Roman public and the viewing of tragedies, comedies, acrobatics and juggling, the Theatre Antique is the only structure of its kind that still has its massive acoustic stage wall intact. At 103 metres long, 37 metres high and 1.80 metres thick, the wall, and its 65-metre-long stage, is, not surprisingly, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. What is a little surprising though, is that the 9000-spectator theatre still hosts performances, like France’s oldest festival, the Chorégies d'Orange. The summer opera fest dates to 1860; the 42nd edition begins July 11 through August 6. A performance of Wagner’s The Flying Dutchman is scheduled for July 12; Verdi’s A Masked Ball will go down on August 3 and 6. Adults €50 to €240.

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