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Politeama Greco Theater • Lecce
Inaugurated in 1884, the Politeama Theater of Lecce has been recognized as a Theater of Tradition since 1976 and has been bound since 1979 as an asset of particular historical and artistic value.


The Teatro Politeama Greco currently hosts a season of prose, concerts (mainly of light music), ballets.

The Politeama Greco Theater of Lecce, originally called Politeama Principe di Napoli, it takes its current name from the Greco family, who wanted it and built it in the second half of the nineteenth century and still own it.

It was built by the entrepreneur Donated Greek, which in the 1882 he asked the Town Hall for authorization to build a new theater. The project was unanimously approved by the City Council, and a few months later work began, directed by the engineer Oronzo Greek (Donato's brother) and completed at the beginning of 1884. The inauguration took place on November 15, 1884 With the'Aida of Giuseppe Verdi and it was a great success. The public not only warmly welcomed the performance, but the satisfaction for the new city theater was palpable, the first in Puglia to respond to the criteria of a modern theatrical structure - comparable to those that arose in particular in the center-north - capable of hosting a large number of spectators and to host the orchestra and the vast scenographies necessary for the representation of the new melodramas.

Previously the shows had taken place in the only theater then existing in Lecce, the Paisiello Theater. Inaugurated in 1758, in 1867 it was donated to the Municipality, which, considering the structure unsuitable for the changed needs, had it completely rebuilt and reopened it in 1870. Nevertheless, the spaces were too small, both in terms of staging and audience capacity: dissatisfaction was widespread both among the members of high society who had attended the opera performances given in a theater that was too small, and among the citizens, who wanted a theater whose capacity would allow a greater number of people to be able to access the shows .

So just a few years after the opening of the renovated Paisiello Theater, Lecce, in both demographic and cultural growth, saw the rise of the new Politeama, named after the Prince of Naples (title of the heirs to the throne, alternating with the historical one of Prince of Piedmont, established by Vittorio Emanuele II when the Savoy family became the ruling house of Italy; the first Prince of Naples was Vittorio Emanuele III, born in 1869).

The theater was equipped with modern machinery for changing the scenes and gas lighting, transformed into electric lighting in 1909. The building extended over the area of today's stalls, while the front part, currently occupied by the foyer, was uncovered and used as a garden.

In 1913 important works were carried out renovation: the theater, first in wood, was rebuilt in stone, and the large foyer was created in place of the pre-existing garden, with the entrance staircase to the boxes. The stage became fixed, the capacity of the theater was increased, and numerous embellishments were made: the ceiling was painted by Carmine Palmieri, the hall was enriched with decorations performed by nationally renowned masters. The renovated theater was named after its builder Greek Politeama.

In 1926, at the suggestion of Tito Schipa, then artistic director, the orchestral pit. Other technical adaptation and restoration interventions were carried out on several occasions in the following decades, up to the most recent ones in 2019.

The Politeama Greco Theater in 1976 was recognized as Theater of Tradition (law n.800 / 67), and from 1979 And well bound in application of the law 1/6/39 n.1089 for the particular historical and artistic value.

Politeama Greco Theater • Lecce
Opened in 1884 with the great success ofAida directed by Carlo Lovati with an excellent cast, at the Politeama opera seasons of great prestige followed one another over the years. The operas represented at the San Carlo in Naples were staged in the same editions at the Politeama, which in those years was therefore considered the second theater in the South.

In the spring of 1894 for the first time in Italy, the revised edition with substantial changes to the first act of the 'Manon Lescaut' from Giacomo Puccini.

In 1911 - in fortuitous circumstances, due to the dismissal of the tenor of Arrigo Boito's 'Mefistofele' - the Lecce debut of the great tenor Tito Schipa, then appointed artistic director of the Politeama Theater in the early 1920s. Schipa organized opera seasons of another level with the presence of great artists and the direction of famous composers such as Pietro Mascagni, Francesco Cilea, Riccardo Zandonai. Prestigious singers followed one another on stage, including tenors Giovanni Manurita, Antonio Melandri, Francesco Merli, the baritone Welcome Franci, the bass Tancredi Pasero, the sopranos Giannina Arangi Lombardi, Toti Dal Monte, Lina Pagliughi, Licia Albanese, Iris Adami Corradetti.

From the 40s until 1989 the opera seasons were organized by the maestro Carlo Vitale. Unforgettable, in 1984, the representation ofAida by Verdi with the tenor Nicola Martinucci, on the occasion of the centenary of the inauguration of the theater and in 1985, theDaughter of the Regiment'by Donizetti directed by Franco Caracciolo, with scenes by Franco Zeffirelli. Also to be remembered, in 1986, 'La Boheme'with the soprano Raina Kabaiwanska, It is in the 1988, 'Anna Bolena'by Donizetti with Katia Ricciarelli and the Nabucco by Verdi with the debut of the baritone Simone Alaimo and the preparation of Tito Varisco.

Among the internationally renowned singers who have performed at the Politeama, to be mentioned again Mario Del Monaco (1967), Gabriella Tucci (Turandot, 1977), Luciana Greenhouse (Lucia di Lammermour, 1979, I Puritani 1998), Cecilia Gasdia (La Bohème, 1989), Vincenzo La Scola (Traviata, 1990), Lucia Aliberti, Aldo Protti, Rolando Panerai. In 1990 Daniel Oren he directed Simon Boccanegra with the baritone Leo Nucci and the bass Roberto Scandiuzzi.

From 1997 to 2002 there Artistic direction of the Opera Season was entrusted to Katia Ricciarelli, interpreter in Fedora with José Cura (1998), Adriana Lecouvreur (1999), Agrippina is Turandot (2000). To be mentioned The Puritans by Bellini under the baton of Richard Bonynge with the soprano Luciana Serra and directed by Filippo Crivelli (1998), Francesca Patané in Macbeth (1999), The two Foscari with Renato Bruson (2000).

Among the great contemporary conductors who have performed at the Greek Politeama, Riccardo Muti and the Oscar winner Ennio Morricone, among the musicians, the violinists Uto Ughi is Salvatore Accardo, the pianists Arturo Benedetti Michelangeli, Luis Bacalov, Ludovico Einaudi, Stefano Bollani, Giovanni Allevi, among the stars of dance, Roberto Bolle in the Gala Bolle and Friends and the Etoile de l'Opéra de Paris and director of the Rome Opera Ball Eleonora Abbagnato.
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