Musica A Palazzo
Musica A Palazzo
4.5
About
Accessible Opera, as though it was in your sitting room, but its a palace in Venice. Stunningly personal. Fun fun fun with 3 light and easy Operas to choose, 7 nights a week. It will make so many people's trip to Venice even more memorable.
Duration: More than 3 hours
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Neighborhood: San Marco
The most famous sestiere (district) in Venice has one of the world's most famous squares, St. Mark's (Piazza San Marco). Anchored on one end by the basilica, clustered around it are restaurants, museums, shops, orchestras playing in the square, pigeons, the grand pink Doge’s Palace (Palazzo Ducale), the soaring campanile bell tower, an astrological clock tower, plus gorgeous cafes and restaurants like Florian and Quadri. Piazza San Marco is beloved by Venetians themselves. They book a table anytime, which offers a buffer from the fray. This grand outdoor drawing room attracts Venetians for a stroll too, especially late in the afternoon when the hoards of daytrippers thin out. It's simply a grand place to meet.
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Most Recent: Reviews ordered by most recent publish date in descending order.

Detailed Reviews: Reviews ordered by recency and descriptiveness of user-identified themes such as wait time, length of visit, general tips, and location information.

Popular mentions

4.5
4.5 of 5 bubbles1,740 reviews
Excellent
1,380
Very good
289
Average
44
Poor
18
Terrible
9

ridley2015
Horsham, UK77 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Aug 2022
This was a great and different operatic experience The performance took place in three different rooms - for the 3 Acts - in a very beautiful and very old palazzo. It felt very intimate with some interaction between performers and the audience, which was a very nice touch. ..
Written September 12, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Billy
Canterbury, UK81 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Apr 2024 • Family
Very fortunate that our hotel only about 200 metres from the Palazzo.

Great experience, very enjoyable. Loved the setting and moving rooms between acts and nice to receive complimentary Prosecco in the interval.

We booked the tickets for La Traviata whilst in England , and they emailed to confirm and further email to confirm that we would be attending whilst in Venice, very professional.

Besides the great performance, it was a delight to be in this building the palazzo barbarigo-minotto.

Highly recommend this experience.
Written May 10, 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

TerrierWhoTravels
Ontario, Canada250 contributions
1.0 of 5 bubbles
Sep 2012 • Couples
It is Thursday, September 27 and my husband and I should actually still be at the opera "Rigoletto" at the Musica A Palazzo. We are not, because we left after the first act. Actually, we rushed out after the first act, because it was SO awful.

First of all, I have a Music Specialist Degree. I have been in many orchestras and worked with many fine musicians and Conductors. I, therefore, feel that I have the expertise to judge the quality of the music we heard tonight.

Let's start with the setting. The concept of an opera in a Palace was interesting. Or, it COULD have been interesting. The condition of the Palace was awful - in much disrepair and begging for some TLC. The seating was a joke. Unless you were in the first couple of rows at the front, you might as well have just closed your eyes and listened, because you certainly couldn't see a thing. It was impossible to see which character was singing and understand the context of why they were singing. There was no room for your feet, it was really cramped and the chairs were uncomfortable. There were supposed to be a max of 60 people in the audience. There is no way that there were JUST 60 people there tonight, because after we moved from the first room to the second, we were in the last row on the left hand side. Then there was room for the doorway entrance behind us and then there were at least 6 rows to the back of the room. There were at least 4 chairs per row. On the ride side there were at least as many rows and as many chairs in each row, as on the left. There HAD to be AT LEAST a MINIMUM of one hundred people in that audience. Maybe that's why they had us complete and sign a form for "insurance purposes." Did the the form somehow absolve them of responsibility in case of emergency, since they were obviously allowing too many people to guarantee for safety for each performance. Also, there were lit candles along the stairway as we were herded to the entrance to pay our entrance fee. And, it was stifling!!!! This was September and quite a nice night - no humidity. We left after the 1st act and our clothes were damp with sweat. There were approx. 10 air conditioners, which were either as old as the Palace, or didn't have the necessary BTU to get the place cooled with at least 100 - oops, 60 (!!!) people. If it was this hot on a late September night, it would have been unbearable in July and August.

Now to the organization of getting people into the palace performance space. We were there at 8 p.m. and there were lots of people in front of us. The wait was awful, it was hot - and there was ONLY ONE person greeting everyone. With that many people (again, at least 100 people) in the heat, there had to be a more efficient and faster way to get us into the performance. Because of this, the performance started late - at 8:45 p.m. We were informed by e-mail that the performance didn't cost anything, but the Palace was a Private Club and, therefore, there would be an admission fee of 60 Euros. Not only was cash an inefficient way for people to pay, but it was highway robbery for what you got in return!!!!!

Now to the performances of the musicians. I could tell that it wasn't going to be a good night when the first few notes from the piano and string instruments were not in sync with each other. The cohesion of the group was very ragged, to say the least. This to me signals that they did not practice enough, or had not practiced together in a long while. Also, the singers and string players/pianist were not together much of the time, either. The entries were not clean, the technique was rough and the pitch, a lot of the time was off, as was that of the vocalists. There weren't in tune when they first started. Many times the Soprano was "not quite there" when reaching for a high note. Often the baritone slid up to his entry note. Keep in mind that these comments are too kind for what we actually had to endure.

Now, you might say, "This was not supposed to be 'high opera.' It was just supposed to be a relaxed, fun, informal night of opera for the uninitiated." There is nothing wrong with that, but please, do not purport to be what you are not. Had we attended knowing that this was not to be a serious affair - sit back, relax and have fun, get to know what opera is and isn't - that would be absolutely fine - state what you are. Except, if that was what it was meant to be, then 60 Euros was about quadruple what we should have had to pay. Were these performers students? Were they performers in their spare time?

I guess, what I'm saying is - the "Rigoletto" performed this evening, for the amount charged, was an insult to Rossini. Or, was it supposed to be "Opera for the tourists, because they don't know any better?" I felt used and insulted sitting there this evening listening to what was obviously a very poorly prepared performance.

In closing, do not waste your money on the performances at Musica A Palazzo. You will be cramped, unable to see a thing (unless you are in the first few rows), hot and bored. The performance this evening was not a good example of what Opera is. If you attend a performance at Musica a Palazzo hoping to see whether you like opera or not, you will be doing yourself a disservice, as well as wasting your money. Out of respect for Rossini and the wonderful music he composed . . . either practice and present a well rehearsed, professional concert, or be upfront and state what you are . . . a very poor example of opera for way too high a price.
Written September 27, 2012
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Liz H
Scotland, UK30 contributions
1.0 of 5 bubbles
May 2011 • Couples
Booked this for my opera loving husband for his birthday. At E50 each not cheap. We went to the Love Duets evening- advertised as being 1 hr 30 ins. I did hesitate since it seemed a lot for such a short time. However it sounded magical.

The evening consisted of songs from 2 solists, interspersed with music from a string quartet. The quality was very good- especially from the mezzo soprano. The surroundings interesting though not opulent. We all had to queue up to look out a tiny window on to the Grand Canal, which took up the 10-12 minute interval.

The BIG, BIG complaint is that the entire event (including all our traipsing from room to room and the interval) lasted fractionally under 1 hour. With applause and an encore ( which was the last song repeated) it came to one hour 5 minutes. I reckon we had at most around 45-50 minutes of actual performance

As advertised we all ( around 40-50 of us and many of these from cruise liners) were moved from room to room. However the music started in each new room while we were shufflng out of seats and into the next room, so not everyone heard all of each aria- on the last move in fact we missed most of the singing.

We left feeling cheated - 1 hour for 100Euros - not even the advertised 1 1/2 hours.

Other concerts we could have booked on site in Venice cost half that price( eg a Vivaldi concert which we heard from attendees was excellent. OK price isn't everything, but this was a rip off- Grand Canal style

Don't go to Musica a Palazzo. What you get is not what is advertised. There are better concerts in Venice in equally good surroundings..
Written August 27, 2011
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

jane56
Sydney, Australia892 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
May 2011
We spent nearly 4 weeks touring Northern Italy. We were first timers to an opera. My husband is a motor bike, rugby and cricket guy so when I suggested this he was not terribly interested but agreed to go. I chose "The Barber of Seville" as I thought a comedy might be a good introduction to opera.

The performance involves changing to 3 different rooms with a 10 minute interval in between. There were no refreshments sold so as a previous poster suggested, maybe take a bottle of water. There were about 70 people the night we attended. The cast was a delight to watch, their acting and comical interpretation superb and the singing wonderful. They do involve some of the audience a little, but not irritatingly so. The small orchestra was brilliant. I would describe this as "up close and personal" as you are only metres away from the performers and can see the expressions on their faces which you wouldn't readily be able to at a larger venue.

Allow plenty of time to get there. We had a little trouble finding the Palazzo as we didn't have directions, so here's where to go: Getting off at the Giglio vaporetto stop, walk down the narrow long alley. After you get out of the alley continue straight on keeping the "Hotel Ala" close by on your left. After you pass the "Hotel Ala" (you literally come to a T intersection anyway) turn left. You then cross over a small bridge. As you are crossing the bridge, you should see a small yellow sign on the wall to the left of the bridge "Musica a Palazzo" pointing left once you get off the bridge. You then walk along a short distance and turn right into the little alleyway leading to the entrance and up some stairs.

After the performance we were on cloud nine and now we rate it as the highlight of Venice. You must book way ahead and call the day of the performance to confirm. No money was taken beforehand and it cost us 50 euros each – money well spent.
Written June 14, 2011
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

bidoogiri
London, UK46 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Sep 2012 • Couples
I've been coming to various Musica a Palazzo events at the Palazzo Barbarigo for some years now. I still enjoy the setting and the staging, despite the fact the Palazzo is in dire need of a renovation.

This time, we saw Il Barbiere di Siviglia, an opera I am quite familiar with. The performance was perfect for the Palazzo, with just four singing cast members. The singers were excellent (especially the Dr Bartolo), the acting and staging as good as I'd hoped. The musicians were also spot on, and I never once felt the lack of a full opera orchestra. The "Pace, Gioia ..." scene was well performed and the scene-end ensembles were brilliant. I'd recommend seeing either Barbiere or the Love Duets - I think the setting isn't ideal for Traviata or Rigoletto. Traviata does fit well into this setting with its "tristesse", but not as nicely as Barbiere.

For €60/person with a bottomless glass of red, white or sparkling wine at the end of the first scene, this is unbeatable value. It is half the price of La Fenice, which doesn't offer you three glasses of free (good) wine at the intermission!

Some points to note:
When it's hot, this place can be unbearable. Come prepared, or choose a cooler night.
You can book on the day of, for most performances. Just call.
You have to pay cash at the entrance. Don't get fooled by concierge touts who charge more than the €60/person rate.
The libretto - €5 - is worth buying and reading BEFORE the opera begins, so arrive at 7:45 for 8:30 if you can.
Only one toilet, so expect to queue.
Come early to ensure you get good seats, first come first seated.
Also, get up and move to a good seat as soon as possible when the staging changes rooms.
Wine is bottomless and is quite good, but is served only after the first scene of the first act, so (if you wish) fill your glass and take it into the second scene with you!
Most performances start at 8:30 and end around 10:45.
Written September 5, 2012
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

da_bill
Cambridge, England10 contributions
2.0 of 5 bubbles
Mar 2016 • Solo
The music was beautiful, the singers passionate, the chairs uncomfortable and the view worse than a camcorder-pirated movie.

While the concept is intriguing - Opera on the move - and all the performers are talented, the fact remains that the €75 you pay only guarantees that you can hear the performances. The quality of the acting I can't comment on because despite moving to 3 different rooms throughout the performance I was one of the several people that were constantly at the back of the queue despite my initial attempts at 'strategic positioning'

I've attached a photo of my view in room 3 for reference (it should be noted that this is actually the closest I got to, and the best view i had of, the 'stage' area throughout the evening.)

Basically, save your money or get tickets to an actual theatre.
Written March 24, 2016
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Life-is-an-Adventure
Karmiel, Israel448 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jun 2015 • Couples
Opera can be boring and feel long, especially if you are not familiar with it. However if you are in intimate surroundings, feel part of the action and so close you feel the swish of the performer's cape as they move – it is an experience of a lifetime. You can see from the picture I took of how close the performance area was from our seats for the first scene!

We saw Rigoletto – they abridge the opera but not at the expense of the story or the noteworthy music. The use of a quartet (piano, violin, viola and cello) instead of a full orchestra is appropriate for the “chamber” surroundings, and they were excellent musicians. Being so close I was able to observe their interactions and those of the singers – something that I enjoy.
The location is easy to find (although not well signed), and as many places in Venice you end up walking down a narrow alley, in this case beside a canal from which you turn right into a covered dark passageway. I suggest to find the place earlier and plan your route. Venice by its nature is poorly signed and getting lost is normal.

Our only regret is that we only booked one performance during our stay. We should have gone to two or three – well, something for our next trip!

Venice is: Very lovely - Very crowded - Very interesting - Very expensive
If you like this review, please see my others from this trip to Venice.
Written June 12, 2015
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

venezia122016
Perth and Kinross, UK33 contributions
2.0 of 5 bubbles
Jul 2014 • Friends
Last year we decided to see an opera at this lovely palazzo. As a professional musician, and vocal coach, I was not disappointed in the standard of singing, the first class quartet
accompanying the opera, and of course the venue. My only criticism was that if you end up several rows back, it is very difficult to see the action.
This year, we decided to return, accompanied by another friend, a soprano, as we had told her how much we had enjoyed the performance last year.
We paid €70 each and looked forward to the performance of "La Traviata". Again, the quartet accompanying the singers was first class, and the venue, a wonderful setting for the opera which we all knew very well. If you are not vocal specialists, which we were, and it is your first time experiencing operatic voices, you would most likely enjoy it - if you could see it, and not at the very back. Judging by the audience reaction at the end, most people enjoyed it.
I would however not recommend it if you are a keen opera goer, or have heard top class singers perform the roles. I had grave concerns about the long term effect on the voice of the young soprano who sang Violetta. The tenor belted everything out fortissimo with no subtlety, and the baritone, as Pere Germont sang adequately without the persuasiveness and vocal colouring required for the role. Costuming was poor, and the production lacked direction.
I ended up in the back row for the final act, and could see nothing. The singer I was with wanted to leave after Act 1!
We were all disappointed that we had paid €70 for the performance.
If however you are new to opera, and want to experience singers with large voices performing in a wonderful setting, this might be exactly what you are looking for.
If you are however a professional singer, or a vocal teacher, this is not for you.
The cast last year overall sang very well in "Barber of Seville", in particular, the soprano singing Rosina, and we really enjoyed the performance. In our opinion, the standard of singing this time was really disappointing.
Written August 7, 2014
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Beauchamp
Rutland, UK12,717 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Oct 2012 • Couples
Time spent on reconnaisance is never wasted! It's wise to track down the place in advance because it's not that obvious and, when we arrived at 8.00 pm when the gates opened, there were already about 25 people ahead of us in the queue. I'd recommend getting there about 7.50 so as to be very close to the head of the queue. You pass through a courtyard and up some stairs into the first salon. Once you've paid you take your seats. Our advice is front row on the right next to the cash desk. Front row on the left gets an equally good view as well as audience participation. Don't take the sideways-on seats near the musicians and sofa because much of the time the singers will have their backs to you. The only drawback of the front row seats is that you'l be last into the next salon for the drinks interval. They had not judged it well and there were insufficient glasses - we had to share - and only just enough prosecco. If you're close to the door where you entered, you'll then be at the front when led into the next salon. The most comfortable seat is the padded sofa at the back of the 'stage' although you will have the rest of the audience looking at you throughout the act. I'd again advise front row near the door. This room is crowded and hot, despite air conditioning, so taking a fan is advisable. By the door you are then well positioned to move promptly to a front row seat for the final act in the bedroom.

I give this advice in detail because, with a full house of around 75, the seating is cramped and this can detract from the enjoyment. Although there is a little padding, the seats are quite hard so taking a cushion would be wise. There is no dress code but most people came in reasonably smart casual wear. Four guests were in full fig: dinner jackets, evening dresses and though they looked magnificently stylish, they might have felt out of place. This is not a gala performance at the Fenice.

What about the performance itself? Fabulously sung with zest and humour. It is quite special to be just two paces away from the performance, and closer still if Figaro "cuts" your hair or don Basilio gives you his (stuffed) dog to look after. The music - singers and musicians - was excellent but even if you buy the programme with its English lyrics alongside the Italian, it is still hard to follow what is going on so it is advisable to brief yourself on the plot beforehand. The eveneing ends about 10. 45 pm. For the music alone I'd give this 5* but the cramped, hard seating took it down, for me, to 4*
Written October 25, 2012
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

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