Piazza della Scala

The Teatro alla Scala was founded, under the auspices of the Empress Maria Theresa of Austria, to replace the Royal Ducal Theatre, which was destroyed by fire on 26 February 1776 and had until then been the home of opera in Milan. The cost of building the new theatre was borne by the owners of the boxes at the Ducal, in exchange for possession of the land on which stood the church of Santa Maria alla Scala (hence the name) and for renewed ownership of their boxes. Designed by the great neoclassical architect Giuseppe Piermarini, La Scala opened on 3 August 1778 with Antonio Salieri’s opera L’Europa riconosciuta, to a libretto by Mattia Verazi.

In the project, inspired by Vanvitelli Court theater in the Reggia di Caserta, Piermarini changed bending and decorative structures in order to improve the acoustics: the Hall immediately became the model for the “Italian” style theatre, whose form a “Horseshoe” was later used in many theatres of Europe as the Vienna State Opera (1869), the Palais Garnier in Paris (1875), the Royal Opera House in London (1858).

In May 2002  was presented the restructuring project by the architect Mario Botta. Equally important was the conservative intervention which covered the monumental part. Once, in the late 1990s, the work of cleaning of the facade of the theatre, [74] was carried out in conjunction with the renovation, from 2002 to 2004, the restoration of the monumental area, edited by Elisabetta Fabbri.

The restructuring work  have not been free from criticism: an intervention so deep in fact deleted the tangible signs that the time and people passed by those environments had left.

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