At the site of the opera house in the mid-nineteenth century, there was a swamp around which goats grazed. A rapidly growing city drained the swamp and created the first wooden stage, which was used for folk performances mainly for German-speaking actors. The theater was not successful and had a bad reputation because of the courtesans. Only at the end of the 19th century, when the troupe of actors of the drama and opera houses split, did the opera become popular in Budapest and the theater began to flourish. The theater became famous under the leadership of Gustave Mahler in 1888. Giacomo Puccini staged his operas twice in the theater. In terms of acoustics, the theater is second only to the famous La Scala and the Paris Opera. An interesting fact: the descending and rising chandeliers change the acoustics of the hall.