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San Carlo Theater Foundation in Naples
Founded in 1737 at the behest of Charles III of Bourbon, the San Carlo in Naples is one of the greatest temples of world opera, and is part of the Unesco Heritage. It is managed by the private law foundation of the same name, which arose from the transformation of the previous autonomous body as required by the legislative decree of 1996.


The 2021/22 Season of the Teatro di San Carlo: 15 opera titles, 4 ballet titles, 18 symphonic concerts, recitals and choral concerts, 7 appointments of the Piano Festival and 10 chamber concerts, scheduled from October 2021 to November 2022.

Other rooms or locations

Court Theater of the Royal Palace


School of Ballet School Chorus of White Voices Academy for Opera Singers (inaugurated in 2021) Training in Performing Arts and Crafts

Museum space

“Memus” Museum and Historical Archive, inaugurated in 2011

The San Carlo Theater and one of the major opera houses in the world, famous for its antiquity, splendor and artistic history.

Founded by Charles III of Bourbon in 1737, with its nearly three centuries of history, the San Carlo is the oldest opera house to be continuously in operation (the Manoel Theater in Malta, built five years before the San Carlo, has had a much more troubled history). Symbol of Naples, it precedes La Scala in Milan by 41 years and La Fenice in Venice by 55.

Inaugurated on November 4, 1737, the largest theater in Europe will fascinate musicians, writers and intellectuals for two centuries and will be among the favorite destinations of travelers on the Grand Tour.

Ravaged by a fire in 1816, came rebuilt in just nine months and again inaugurated in January of 1817, returning a building even more sumptuous and functional than the previous one.

Having repaired the war damage of 1943, the San Carlo was again subjected to a major renovation and restoration in 2008 and officially reopened in January 2009.

The most relevant is the artistic history of the Theater, the list of great composers, singers, musicians who animated the scenes is endless. The musical seasons of the San Carlo tell of a theater at the center of the musical life of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, to which all of Europe looked.

To mention only the composers, the works of the great authors of the Neapolitan School were staged in rapid sequence, Leo, Purple, Sarro, and again, works of Hasse 'the Saxon', Jommelli, Galuppi, Piccinni, Traetta, Tritto. They arrived at the San Carlo just over the middle of the century Gluck is Johann Christian Bach, while the end of the eighteenth century is dominated by the great ones Cimarosa is Paisiello, whose fame spanned the continent.

The 19th century saw the greatest stars of the lyrical firmament at the San Carlo, Rossini, Donizetti, Bellini, then Mercadante and naturally greens, and at the turn of the century, Puccini and the Young school with Leoncavallo, Giordano, Cilea and Alfano.

In the historical 1950s-60s they were the first Italian works of Richard Strauss, Dukas, Schoenberg, Orff, Weill which joined the great Italian melodrama.

In more recent years, all the great voices, the directors, but also legendary instrumentalists together with renowned directors, set designers, costume designers, have continued to write the history of the San Carlo Theater.

Also noteworthy is the collaboration with great contemporary artists including Kiefer, Paladin, Tomato, Paolini, Kentridge.

Do not forget the dance: in addition to the performance of many famous names, the San Carlo boasts the primacy of oldest ballet school in Italy, established in 1812.


Run for nearly two centuries since private entrepreneurs, including the famous Domenico Barbaja, the San Carlo Theater is configured as Body in 1922, however continuing to have an external contract management.

With the new organization of opera and musical activities implemented in  1967 (Law 800), the San Carlo becomes Autonomous body with legal personality under public law.

Finally, following the legislative decree n. 367 of 1996, the autonomous theater of San Carlo, like all other Italian opera organizations, is transformed into Foundation of private law.

ThereSan Carlo Theater Foundation in Naples'- whose commitment aims at safeguarding and preserving the immense productive, musical and historical-artistic heritage - has as its purpose the dissemination of musical art, the musical education of the community as well as the artistic and professional development of its staff. It collaborates with universities, academies, conservatories, music centers, schools of all levels and other Italian and foreign musical opera houses in order to promote musical and cultural training projects. He designs and creates stage sets and theatrical costumes in his own workshops.

The Teatro di San Carlo also performs a social function both as a physical place and as a symbolic representation of the community in which it operates, an emblem of the urban civil, social and cultural reality.


The San Carlo offers Seasons with a very large program of Opera, Dance, Symphonic Concerts and Recitals, Chamber Music and Piano Recitals, in addition to the Educational sector.

San Carlo Theater Foundation in Naples

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