Teatro La Fenice ("The Phoenix") is an opera house in Venice, Italy. It is one of the most famous theatres in Europe, the site of many famous operatic premieres. Its name reflects its role in permitting an opera company to "rise from the ashes" despite losing the use of two theatres. Since opening and being named La Fenice, it has burned and been rebuilt twice more.
In 1774, the San Benedetto Theatre, which had been Venice's leading opera house for more than forty years, burned to the ground. No sooner had it been rebuilt than a legal dispute broke out between the company managing it and the owners, the Venier family. The issue was decided in favor of the Veniers. The construction began in June 1790, and by May 1792 the theatre was completed. It was named "La Fenice", in reference to the company's survival, First of the fire, then of the loss of its former quarters. La Fenice was inaugurated on May 16, 1792 with an opera by Giovanni Paisiello entitled I Giuochi di Agrigento (libretto by count Alessandro Pepoli).