Teatro alla Scala, Milan

4:07 PM

Teatro alla Scala is an opera house in Milan, Italy that was inaugurated in August of 1778. It was approved for construction by Empress Maria Theresa of Austria in 1776 after a fire burned down the Teatro Regio Ducale. It was built on the site of the Church of Maria alla Scala, which was deconsecrated and demolished to make room for the structure.

Photo of Teatro Alla Scala, Milan (photo: Rolex/Ambroise Tézenas)
Teatro Alla Scala, Milan (photo: Rolex/Ambroise Tézenas)
Antonio Salieri's Europa riconosciuta was the first performance in La Scala, which has hosted 'la prima' of many famous operas in its lifetime, including Verdi's Otella and Falsta, Bellini's Norma and Puccini's Madama Butterfly. The audience at this venue is known as one of the most vocal and critical in the world.

Rolex Testimonee Plácido Domingo's Otello made for one of the greatest seasons in the opera's history. Gustavo Dudamel conducted his first Don Giovanni here and Cecilia Bartoli returned to La Scala after many years absence. Rolex became their official timepiece in 2006.

The theater underwent a €61 million renovation from 2002 through 2004 under architect Mario Botta. The backstage area was expanded, allowing for larger productions in the space. Preservationists were initially against the renovation, but ultimately pleased with the updates to the building. 

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