Venice's principal opera house - aptly named 'the phoenix' - has a long history of fiery destruction and rebirth. The theatre (1792) designed by Giannantonio Selva replaced the Teatro San Benedetto, which burnt down in 1774. Selva's building was destroyed in 1836, and was rebuilt by the Meduna brothers, recreating the style of Selva. In 1996, a massive blaze broke out, courtesy of two electricians (for the full crime story read John Berendt's City of Falling Angels). After years of legal wrangling, the theatre was rebuilt and inaugurated in December 2003. Hidden away from view behind the ornate gilding and faux-Baroque plush are state-of-the-art technological innovations. The tour with audio guide lasts roughly 45 minutes.
More information about tickets and passes in Venice.