Natural and Man-made Points of Interest in the United States of America
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Academy of Music
Broad and Locust Streets
The Academy of Music in Philadelphia
Photo: Robert J. Moran
Copyright: All Rights Reserved
Opened in 1857, the building is the oldest grand opera house in America used for its original purpose. It is the home of the Pennsylvania Ballet and the Philadelphia Opera Company.
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Because of its age and historical significance it is known as the "Grand Old Lady of Broad Street."
It hosted the 1872 Republican National Convention.
Parts of Martin Scorsese's film of The Age of Innocence were filmed in the Academy.
The Academy is not a school of music.
The building is owned by the Philadelphia Orchestra, which performed in it until December, 2001. The orchestra now performs in the nearby Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts.
The building was designed by the Philadelphia architectural firm of Napoleon LeBrun and Gustavus Runge. The design features an "open horseshoe" shape which offers greater visibility than most opera houses to the audience seated on both sides of the balconies.
The first opera performed here was Verdi's Il Trovatore, on February 25, 1857. It was the first time the opera was performed in the Western Hemisphere.
The groundbreaking ceremony was held on June 18, 1855, with President Franklin Pierce in attendance and the venue opened with a grand ball on January 26, 1857.
The venue is the home of the Pennsylvania Ballet.
Sources, References and External Links
The Academy of Music Website
National Historic Landmarks
National Register of Historical Places
Television and Movie Locations
© 2007 - 2013 Robert J. Moran