Since its creation in 1879, the Opera of Monte-Carlo has gained international fame, playing a key role in promoting the most beautiful voices to the rest of Europe. The Opera of Monte-Carlo secured a reputation for artistic innovation. Authors such as Bizet, Franck or Massenet wrote some of their works for the Monéguasque Opera. Regularly, the Opera goes on tours to play works of its repertoire. By the end of the nineteenth century, Charles Garnier was hired to build Monaco's Opera House. The famous architect had gained recognition from his work for the Paris Opera House.
Sarah Bernhard inaugurated the new Salle Garnier in 1879. Between 1893 and 1951, Raoul Gunsbourg directed the Opera and built fame and prestige for Monaco's Opera House. Among the best internationally, Monaco's Opera hosted great voices such as Patti, Tamagno, Melba, Caruso, Chaliapine, Garden, Schipa, Dalla Rizza, Gigli, Lubin, Muzio, Thill, and Pons.
The Opera is also the home of creative work, including, Franck's "Hulda" (1894) and "Ghisele" (1896), Bizet's "Don Procopio" (1906), Massenet's "Cleopatre" (1914) and "Amadis" (1922), or more recently Rendine's "Un Segreto d'importanza" (1992) and Lowell Liebermann's "The Picture of Dorian Gray" (1996). Chaliapan created the title role in Massenet's Don Quixote in Monaco in 1910.
The Monte-Carlo Philharmonic Orchestra
The first permanent orchestra established in 1863 came into its own with the opening of the Garnier Palace in 1879. In 1953 it became known as the National Orchestra of the Monte-Carlo Opera, and it was renamed the Monte-Carlo Philharmonic Orchestra in 1979. Many great conductors of this century, from Richard Strauss to Toscanini and Leonard Berstein to Lorin Maazel, have led the orchestra in concert. The Orchestra's Music Directors have included Paul Paray, Louis Fremaux, Igor Markevitch, Lovro von Matacic, Laurence Foster and James DePreist. Today, the Artistic Director and Conductor in chief of the Monte-Carlo Philharmonic Orchestra is Marek Janowski.