Teatro alla Scala, The World Temple of the Opera


One of the most famous theatre in Italy and veritable temple of world Opera, Teatro alla Scala (usually called “La Scala”) is certainly among the most important attractions in Milan for its artistic and cultural relevance. Its history began in 1776, when a fire destroyed the Regio Ducal Teatro housed in the courtyard of the Royal Palace.

A decree of Empress Maria Theresa of Austria then entrusted to Giuseppe Piermarini the task of building a new one, and the place chosen by him was that of Santa Maria alla Scala (hence the name), which soon was demolished to make room for the theater, which opened August 3 1778 with the world premiere of L’Europa Riconosciuta by Salieri. Among the expedients adopted by Piermarini, in addition to the shape of the room, there was the choice of the wooden time, almost a natural sounding. He significantly reduced also the size of columns that still separate the different stages. Obtained in this way, according to sources, almost perfect acoustics at every point of the room, considered among the best of his time, so much so that for this reason the French writer Stendhal called La Scala "the first theater in the world".

The construction of the building was financed by a group of wealthy Milanese families who continued to support him, helding the property through the quotas of the boxes. At that time the theater was however used not only as a place of entertainment, but also as a center for social activities: here the owners of the boxes were used to host their guests, eat and gamble, leaving the representations a role relatively marginal.

Everything changed since 1812, when with the advent of Rossini La Scala became a symbol of Italian Opera, thus beginning a long series of successes related to one of the best composers of the time. In 1839 he opened the era of Giuseppe Verdi, the composer who, more than any other is linked to the history of the scale: the triumph of Nabucco (1842), for the strong patriotic feeling which arouses in Milan crossed from the yeast of the nascent Italian Risorgimento, reinforces the popular roots of opera itself and identifies the image with La Scala.

Over the centuries, the most coveted theatres of the Belpaese has seen the biggest names in world theater as Claudio Abbado and Riccardo Muti, immortal voices such as Maria Callas, Luciano Pavarotti or Placido Domingo, acclaimed directors like Luchino Visconti and Franco Zeffirelli and choreographers and dancers among the most talented in the world, such as Rudolf Nureyev, Carla Fracci and Roberto Bolle.

Unique talents that add to the centuries-old history of one of the most popular and appreciated theaters in the world, that has earned the ceremony of worldwide audience thanks to its elegant neoclassical architecture, its fabulous hall with unique acoustics, and not least a repertoire inspired by the greatest ancient and modern Opera names.