Cornerstone of Culture
The Academy of Music opened its doors in 1857, first for an inaugural ball on January 26th, and then, on February 25th, entrancing a glittering crowd with Verdi’s Il trovatore. Modeled on Milan’s famed La Scala, it is the oldest opera house in the United States still used for its original purpose…but it’s so much more!
Il trovatore set the stage for the Academy’s glorious role in opera. It has hosted the American premieres of Strauss’s Ariadne auf Naxos, Gounod’s Faust, and Wagner’s The Flying Dutchman. Today, it’s home to Opera Philadelphia, the highly praised company offering everything from repertoire classics to 21st century originals.
The Academy is also sacred ground for orchestral music. It was the home of the storied Philadelphia Orchestra from 1900 to 2001, during which time the Orchestra established itself as one of the world’s greatest, with a vast number of premieres and innovations and, of course, the legendary Philadelphia Sound. The Orchestra returns here each year for the annual Anniversary Concert and Ball.