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Teatro San Cassiano 1637, Venice 2021
Faithful to the original seventeenth-century building, the new theater has 153 boxes on 5 orders, plus 99 seats in the stalls, with orchestral pit and small stage as was customary at the time; it will be completed with stage machines, mobile sets and special effects, just like at the time of the inauguration.

London-based entrepreneur and musicologist Paul Atkin plans to reconstruct the Baroque theater of San Cassiano

Paul Atkin, a visionary and positively eccentric London entrepreneur as the British can be, has not only dealt with business and finance; he also has a doctorate in musicology in a field of study that is not exactly common: he has dedicated himself to the analysis of opera production in the Modena of the seventeenth century, in particular to the work of Antonio Giannettini (1649 - 1721) on a libretto by Giambattista Neri, with an intriguing title The entry in youth of Claudio Nerone. The work was performed in Modena in 1692 on the occasion of the celebrations for the marriage of Francesco II d'Este (Modena 1660 - Sassuolo 1694) with his cousin Margherita Maria Farnese, princess of Parma (Parma 1664 - Colorno 1718).

Atkin says he feels a bit like Harlequin servant of two masters, music on one side and business on the other; in any case in 2014 he decides to sell his company and invests four million euros only in research: the goal, the realization of a dream - the reconstruction of the first public opera house in the world, the San Cassiano in Venice.

Just the San Cassiano, of which in Italy and also in Venice itself, except among insiders and in the pages of the books of the history of music, has lost its memory a bit. It is a myth within a myth, a unique theater in a city that has no equal: as often happens, it is easier to perceive the importance and emblematic value of something by looking at it from afar rather than having it under your eyes every day. So it is for the San Cassiano, the first public opera theater in the world, and one of the most significant in Europe for the quality of the staging of works by great composers with celebrated performers.

The goal of Paul Atkin, CEO and founder of the "Teatro San Cassiano" project is to reconstruct the theater of 1637 as faithful to the original as academic research and artisanal skills allow, to bring back the Baroque opera put in scene according to historically informed performance practices.

Faithful to the original seventeenth-century building, the new theater has 153 boxes on 5 orders, plus 99 seats in the stalls, with orchestral pit and small stage as was customary at the time; it will be completed with stage machines, mobile sets and special effects, just like at the time of the inauguration.

It will not rise in the original site, where today a reconstruction would be impossible, but in another top secret place, already identified thanks to the interest of the Municipality of Venice. The architect responsible for the project, Jon Greenfield, specialized in the philological reconstruction of period buildings and author of the famous Shakespeare's Globe in London (1997), reconstruction of the wooden theater in which the Bardo company performed, was also commissioned.

The new San Cassiano would also like to become an attraction for cultured and sustainable tourism, as well as a further driver for the Venetian economy, with the 26 companies contacted for the construction and the goal of employing 150 people.

The budgeted cost for the project? About 65 million euros.

DR PAUL ATKIN CEO and Founder San Cassiano Theater (Venice, 1637) sets out his vision of the Teatro San Cassiano in Venice.

To realize this baroque dream, a magical time machine suspended between yesterday and tomorrow, this place will allow you to live the totalizing experience of the Baroque opera not only in the heart of Venice, but thanks to the livestreaming it can be shared with the public all over the world, a group of investors has already been found; other visionaries are now looking for ready to embark on the enterprise. 

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