La Scala Theater

This is an excerpt from the book “Milan” by Enrico Massetti.

Photo ©
Photo ©

The “Teatro alla Scala” without a doubt one of the most famous opera houses in the world, was founded by the support of Empress Maria Theresa of Austria to replace its predecessor, the Regio Teatro Ducale, built in 1589, which was destroyed by flames in 1776 but up until that time the home of opera in Milan. Designed and built by the great neoclassical architect Giuseppe Piermarini between 1776 and 1778, it was opened in August of the same year with an opera by Antonio Salieri.

The period between the two wars witnessed a succession of appearances at the Scala by the great artists of the time, and in 1943 La Scala was severely damaged by bombing.

It was reopened again on 11 May 1946, with a historic concert conducted by Toscanini and the theatre rapidly returned to its previous level of excellent production and art.

Piazza Scala
Piazza Scala Photo ©

The opera house takes its name from the old church of Santa Maria della Scala whose original site was found here. This theater is deemed to be one of the most perfect theaters in the world.

It holds a total of 2,200 people including 678 orchestra seats, 409 seats in the first and second galleries, and 155 boxes dispersed on four levels.

Circled by greenery in Piazza Scala, a monument to Leonardo da Vinci provides the perfect backdrop for La Scala’s neoclassical architecture. Its history, acoustic and the outstanding level of its performances have made La Scala Theatre one of the best-known temples of lyric and classical music in the world. The theatre was founded under the auspices of Empress Maria Theresa of Austria to replace the Royal Ducal Theatre, destroyed by fire in 1776.

La Scala - Interior
La Scala – Interior Photo ©

On 7 December 2004, the season was opened at La Scala after a three-year break due to complex restoration and renovation works. During the restoration, the artistic activity took place in the Arcimboldi Theatre. The most noticeable aspects of the works undergone are the modernization of the mechanical service plants and the new stage tower now sitting at the back of the building.

The 7 December premiére is one of the most awaited cultural and social events in the year and gathers the most prominent personalities from the fields of culture, politics, industry worldwide as well as the most popular TV and cinema stars. La Scala Theatre is home to the best opera singers and conductors and offers a broad repertoire which attracts thousands of visitors and opera buffs.

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