Concertisti Classica, la musica classica in Italia
Classical Music in Italy
Cerca
Close this search box.
5 curiosities about Italian theaters
Over the course of its history, Italy has had a great affinity with the history of the theater, starting from its inception, with the Greek theater.

This history has led to the construction of a very large number of theatrical buildings, from the early Greeks and Romans to the “Italian-style” opera houses up to the modern halls. Today there are about 1,200, this number includes the Italian theaters active in the modern age, both opera and prose, excluding archaeological sites such as Greek and Roman theaters.

Among these there are some singularities, let's see which ones.

The largest: the Teatro Massimo in Palermo

The largest opera house in Italy is the Teatro Massimo in Palermo: with its 7,730 square meters, it is also one of the largest theaters in Europe. At the time of the inauguration, it could hold about 3,000 spectators, today for safety reasons reduced to 1,300.

The monumental construction, begun in 1875 and completed only over 20 years later, is the work of the architects Giovan Battista Filippo Basile and his son Ernesto, the latter famous liberty architect and author of the so-called 'Transatlantic' of Montecitorio. The inauguration took place on May 16, 1897 with the Falstaff by Giuseppe Verdi.

Concordia Theater in Monte Castello di Vibio (PG)

The smallest: the Teatro della Concordia in Monte Castello di Vibio (PG)

The Teatro della Concordia, with its 99 seats, is defined with a slogan the smallest theater in the world.

In fact, although there are other theaters and private rooms with fewer seats, the Concordia di Monte Castello is the smallest Italian theater in existence, almost a miniature reproduction of the great Italian and European theaters.

Inaugurated in 1808, the theater was built at the behest of nine wealthy local families: "it was built small, tailored to its country" as can be read in the documents of the time, but no less functional for its purposes, since as rightly the patrons pointed out, "civilization is not measured in square meters and cubes".

The oldest: the San Carlo Theater in Naples

The oldest opera house not only in Italy, but in Europe and the world still in business, is the San Carlo in Naples.

Inaugurated in 1737 at the behest of King Charles of Bourbon, it is one of the most beautiful and prestigious theaters in the world. Its construction precedes that of the Scala in Milan by 41 years and the Teatro La Fenice in Venice by 55 years.

Originally it could accommodate over 3,000 spectators, then reduced to 1,300 following safety regulations. It has a large stalls, five tiers of boxes arranged in a horseshoe, the large royal box and the gallery; the grandiose stage measures 34 × 33 m. Given its size, structure and antiquity, the San Carlo was a model for later European theaters.

UNESCO has included it among the monuments considered a World Heritage Site

The most recent: the Oscar Niemayer Auditorium in Ravello

Ravello, a famous town on the Amalfi coast known for its natural and artistic beauties, is also home to a prestigious summer music festival. To expand its activities, the new auditorium designed by the Brazilian architect Oscar Niemeyer was built in the years 2008 - 2010. Lucio Dalla, the Escola do Teatro Bolshoi no Brasil, the choir of the San Carlo theater in Naples, the saxophonist Nicola Alesini and the violinist Salvatore Accardo performed for the opening concert.

However, the construction remains controversial: considered a building abuse by its detractors, seen instead as a shell lying on the sea, integrated into the landscape, for its proponents.

The smallest theater where Aida was performed: Giuseppe Verdi Theater in Busseto (PR)

Aida, the most popular of Verdi's operas, immediately evokes the monumental staging of the Verona Arena, of which it is an emblem. But on the occasion of the centenary of Giuseppe Verdi's death in 2001, it was decided to face a challenge: to present theAida in Busseto, the composer's native village, in the tiny theater named after him, with only 307 seats and a proscenium that does not exceed ten meters. . .

Challenge widely won by Franco Zeffirelli, who achieved great success with his shrewd and inventive direction.

As for the theater, rebuilt between 1856 and 1868 on the site of an older building, Verdi, despite having offered the considerable sum of £. 10,000 for its construction and despite having a stage there, it did not intervene at the solemn inauguration in his honor on August 15, 1868, and was careful not to set foot there later. The Maestro was in fact opposed to the construction of the new theater, considering it "too expensive and useless in the future".

cc_concertisti_classica_g_b_r
  • Not to be missed

    Insights

    Concerts

    Opera

    Concert Season

    Festivals

    101st Arena di Verona Opera Festival 2024

    From 7 June to 7 September '24

    Verdi Festival of Parma and Busseto, XXIV Edition

    From 21 September to 20 October '24

    LacMus Festival 2024

    From 9 July to 21 July '24

    Bologna Festival 2024 – 43rd edition

    From 18 March to 6 November '24

    Refreshments Baroque Festival 2024 | 2nd edition Verona

    From 15 FebruaryEnded 28 February '24

    Contests

    News