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THEATRES

Teatro San Carlo di Napoli

Teatro San Carlo di Napoli

Teatro San Carlo of Napoli

The destiny of Naples, European capital of music and art, has always revolved around a history mixing and mingling with that of the oldest theatre in Italy, now recognised by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site. The San Carlo is the symbol of the city where Italian opera music was born, built 41 years before Milan’s La Scala and 55 before Venice’s La Fenice. It was in 1737 when the first Bourbon of Naples, King Carlos III, put his backing behind «a work that unites magnificence and wonder. A theatre! The largest in Europe... destined to soon become the kingdom of opera music in the world». The inauguration was held on the evening of November 4, the name day of the king. Gilded decorations and sumptuous fabrics in blue, the colour of the reigning dynasty, sparkled throughout the hall. To follow were works of the shining era of the Neapolitan eighteenth century, with such composers as Leonardo Leo, Niccolò Porpora, Johann Adolf Hasse “the Saxon” and others. In the nineteenth century Naples stands out as a shining example among cities, with almost half a million inhabitants and a lively flow of visitors brought by the trend of the GrandTour. This is the point at which the San Carlo undergoes a number of changes under the direction of the Royal House’s architect and set designer Antonio Niccolini, and the “temple” becomes the city’s symbol-monument.
All of the greats appeared on the theatre’s stage at one point or another, even Vincenzo Bellini fell in love with it, and saw his first work Bianca e Gernando, written especially for San Carlo.
Teatro San Carlo of Napoli's website: www.teatrosancarlo.it
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