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Carlo Felice Theater Foundation of Genoa
The Carlo Felice Theater, the largest in Liguria, and one of the best known and most prestigious Italian opera houses. Managed by the Foundation of the same name (formerly the Autonomous Body of the Teatro Comunale dell'Opera di Genova), it offers seasons of opera, dance and symphony of international level.

Other rooms or locations

Eugenio Montale Auditorium – Youth Theatre


High Specialization Academy for Opera Singers, White Voices Chorus

Built in 1828, the Carlo Felice Theater it was designed by the Genoese architect Carlo Barabino, winner of the competition held three years earlier to equip the city with a great opera house. In fact, Genoa lacked a theater dedicated to melodrama, present at the time in all major Italian cities. The ancient Theater of Sant'Agostino, owned by the Marquises Durazzo and Genoa's first public theater, it dates back to the previous century and was no longer considered to meet the new needs.

An area in the city center was identified for the new construction, obtained from the demolition of the Church of San Domenico, which has long since fallen into disuse and has been converted into a warehouse. In a second moment the famous one also participated in the works Luigi Canonica, called as a consultant for the realization of the stage. Already a royal architect, the Ticinese had distinguished himself for the construction and completion of large theatrical buildings.

Completed in a short time, the Theater was inaugurated on April 7, 1828 in the presence of the kings of the Kingdom of Sardinia, the dedicatee Carlo Felice of Savoy and his wife Maria Cristina of Bourbon. The elegant building, which was a candidate to become one of the most renowned theaters of the peninsula, was always kept up to date: in 1852 the gas lighting was inaugurated and in 1892 on the occasion of the Colombian celebrations the electric one.

During Second World War, Carlo Felice came hard hit by bombing and largely destroyed. The pronaos with columns, arcades and perimeter walls remained standing. The municipality immediately opted for a complete makeover of the theater rather than for a restoration starting from the remaining walls.

A first competition was therefore launched in 1946, but the winning project by Paolo Antonio Chessa was never carried out. In 1963 a new position was assigned to Carlo Scarpa, one of the greatest architects of the 20th century. Scarpa presented the final design in 1977, but due to his accidental death the following year, it could not be built.

The turning point came with the competition launched in 1981 and concluded in 1984 with the victory of the architects' project Aldo Rossi, Ignazio Gardella, Fabio Reinhart and Angelo Sibilla for Mario Valle spa

On April 7, 1987, the first stone was laid, and the  new Carlo Felice Theater came long last inaugurated on October 18, 1991.

The pool of architects had to take into account two specific constraints imposed by the client for the construction of the new Carlo Felice Theater: the need to rebuild it exactly where it was, keeping the preserved parts of the nineteenth-century building (the columns, the pronaos, the Latin inscription and the terrace) and the desire to equip the new structure with the most advanced technology, hence the need for the imposing scenic tower about 63 meters high.

The result was a building of great architectural value, able to strongly affect and characterize the Genoese skyline with the soaring tower and the characteristic 'lanternino', a luminous cone that runs through the building in all its height.

The Theater is equipped with all the avant-garde technologies, with the scenic tower hosting four stages, a main stage, a dorsal stage behind the first and two lower stages aligned with each other and managed by integrated and computerized electronic systems.

Features that allow the Carlo Felice Theater to propose a high-level billboard, with seasons of opera, ballet, symphony of international importance, completed by Educational events, conferences, dating and from proposals aimed at the territory.


The artistic quality of the theater teams should also be emphasized: Orchestra, Chorus, Chorus of White Voices.

The Orchestra

The Carlo Felice Theater Orchestra has a history that began in the early 1900s and was organically structured in 1965, and since then it has continued to evolve, enhancing the qualities of both the whole and the solo parts. Internationally renowned directors have alternated on the podium since the 1950s: including Victor De Sabata, Tullio Serafin, Igor Stravinsky, Vittorio Gui, Sergiu Celibidache, Claudio Abbado, Carlo Maria Giulini, Riccardo Muti, Georges Prêtre, Mstislav Rostropovič, Gianandrea Gavazzeni, Myung-Whun Chung, and in more recent times Daniel Oren (Principal Conductor of the Orchestra in the second half of the 1980s and from 2007 to 2010), Antonio Pappano, Gianluigi Gelmetti Lorin Maazel, Zubin Mehta, Christian Thielemann, Daniele Gatti, Michel Plasson (Principal Guest Conductor of the Orchestra in the early 2000s), Neville Marriner, Diego Fasolis, Juraj Valčuha, Andrea Battistoni, Federico Maria Sardelli to name but a few.

The teacher Fabio Luisi he was appointed Honorary Director of the Carlo Felice Theater in 2012 establishing an ongoing collaboration with the orchestra.

The Choir

The history of choral vocalism in Genoa began with the inauguration of the Carlo Felice Theater in 1828.

In addition to the institutional activity mainly dedicated to the lyric repertoire (from the Baroque to the present day), the Choir of the Carlo Felice Theater has also dedicated itself to polyphonic forms, to the Baroque and classical repertoire, interpreting the great symphonic-romantic compositions, up to the multiform expressions twentieth century, thus acquiring a notable importance on the national scene.

The Choir of White Voices

The 'Chorus of white voices of the Teatro Carlo Felice in Genoa' was born in 2006 as the fulcrum of an educational project aimed at the younger generations. Thanks to the high level achieved, the Choir has aroused the interest of critics and audiences in various concerts (about 100 performances), some of which have been recorded and broadcast by RadioRai.


In 2010 the Carlo Felice created its own web TV which broadcasts in streaming, TCF Web TV, a television structure with a studio inside the theater, equipped for filming, recording, editing and post production. in 1825 a competition was held for the design of the Carlo Felice theater, the winning project was that of Carlo Barabino and was built and inaugurated in 1828.

Carlo Felice Theater Foundation of Genoa


The semifinals and finals of the International Violin Competition 'Premio Paganini' take place at the Carlo Felice Theater, one of the most important violin competitions in the world
Contents created with the contribution of the Organization's website
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