Theatre opened: 7 December 1732 Designed by: James Shepherd First production: The Way of the World by William Congeve Number of seats: 2268 Other info: The first theatre on this site was called the Theatre Royal in Covent Garden (opened 7 December 1732). It burnt down on 20 September 1808. The second theatre opened on 18 September 1809 designed by Robert Smirke with a production of Shakespeare's Macbeth. It was reconstructed and reopened on 6 April 1847 as the Royal Italian Opera House, but burnt down on 5 March 1856. The third and current theatre was designed by Sir Edward M. Barry and opened as the Royal Italian Opera House on 15 May 1858 with a production of Les Huguenots by Meyerbeer.