Dresden Semper Opera House is situated on the Theatre Square on the bank of the River Elbe and is one of the most beautiful and prestigious opera houses in the world. It houses the Saxon State Opera, Semperoper Ballet and the Saxon State Orchestra, one of the world's oldest and best-known orchestras. The opera house has a long history of premieres, including major works by Richard Wagner and Richard Strauss.
Built by the architect Gottfried Semper between 1838 and 1841, the Semper Opera House was closed in August 1944 and was destroyed six months later by the Allied air attacks leaving only the exterior shell standing. Exactly 40 years after its destruction on 13 February 1985 the opera house reopened with the opera that was performed just before the building's destruction in 1945, Carl Maria von Weber's "Der Freischütz".
The building is considered to be a prime example of "Dresden Baroque" architecture, although its interior is heavily influenced by Italian Renaissance.