During the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, Dresden, which became known as the « Florence of the Elbe, » became a primordially important intellectual centre and its orchestra, which developed a new virtuostic instrumental style, spread its influence throughout Europe. Under the influence of Weber, Dresden actively participated in the renaissance of German opera.
For instance, the Opera House built by Gottfried Semper in 1841 welcomed Wagner's first successes in his attempt to renovate German lyrical art; RIENZI, THE FLYING DUTCHMAN, and TANNHÄUSER. But Wagner was also a political agitator and he was forced to leave the city after the 1848 revolution.
In 1858, the orchestra organized its first regular season of symphonic concerts for the public. Following a fire in 1869, Semper erected a second concert hall which was subsequently destroyed, along with the rest of the splendid baroque city, during the devastating bombings of 1945. In 1985, the reopening of one of Europe’s most beautiful opera houses