What do architecture, opera, and a forest have in common?

That would be one of the most famous open air amphitheaters in Poland, the “Forest Opera” in Sopot. This great amphitheater was originally built in 1909 and it is nestled in the middle of a serene hilly forest in the western part of the city.

Old Forest Opera

It has a very rich history.  It has hosted performances ranging from German opera to famous names like Tina Turner and Elton John, and it was a host to the eastern bloc’s song contests. After its 100th anniversary recently, the venue went through a renovation to bring it back to capture its old glory.

New Forest Opera

With a budget of approximately 26 million dollars, the venue was brought in to the 21st century by modernizing and increasing seating to 5,000 places, installing a state of the art sound and lighting system. This special system allows images to be projected onto a special screen in the middle.  Then there is a record setting new roof construction which is suspended about 105 feet above the audience.

This roof structure is shaped by the two largest ever cold bent arches spanning approximately 295 feet. The arches were made by cold bending sixteen steel tubes with 54 inch diameter to a radius of 163 feet. The tubes were the world’s largest ever to be cold bent.  Each tube was 2.8 inches thick with the largest section weighing about 26 tons with total weight of all tubes at 360 tons.

54in Diameter Steel Tube

After this extensive renovation The Forest Opera in Sopot finds itself once again as a top European venue for concerts and other performances.


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