The 499 seat Teatro di Rozzi in Siena was constructed in the early 19th century. It is named after an anti-intellectual group of writers, that had been founded in 1531. After the latest restoration, the building has not just been used for theatrical productions anymore, but also for concerts and conferences.
Teatro dei Rozzi Siena
Address: Piazza Indipendenza, 15 – 53100 Siena. Phone: +39 0577 292225. Opening times: . Ticket price: . (Note that prices and times may be subject to change.)
History and description
In 1531, a group of local Sienes crafstmen founded the Congrega dei Rozzi. In 1690, this was changed into the Accademia dei Rozzi. The aim of the academy was to transform popular (in the sense of “folkloristic”) poetry and theatrical works into versions adapted to a city audience. The texts create by the group members were generally ant-intellectual.
This also explains the name, since Teatro dei Rozzi can be translated as “Theater of the Primitives” or “Theater of the Ignorant”.
The academy was especially popular in the 19th century, after the anti-intellectual spirit had become less profound.
In 1807, the Accademia dei Rozzi constructed its own theater. The first project by the architect Alessandro Doveri was not well received, since it implied various changes to the structure of the existing building.
To overcome these problems, the Accademia purchased a couple of adjacent palaces. Doveri’s new design was approved, and work started in 1815.
The inauguration took place in 1817 and the theater quickly became a well-known venue for prose readings.
In 1873, the architect Augusto Corbi oversaw a complete reconstruction.
After World War II, having been seriously damaged, the theater was declared unfit for use. After a long restoration, the Teatro dei Rozzi was reopened in 1998. The academy still owns the property, but the theater is now run by the city of Siena itself.
It is now also being used for conferences and musical events.