Rome‘s Teatro dell’Opera is the city’s main opera and ballet venue. The building has undergone many changes of name over the years and holds 1,600 people.
Teatro dell’Opera Rome
Address, opening hours and admission
Address: Piazza Beniamino Gigli, 7 – Rome (tel. +39 06 481601). Opening hours and admission depend on the event.
History and description
Like Francesco Saverio De Merode, who had bought a big part of the land between Roma Termini and the Via del Corso, knowing that the area at one point or another would have to be developed, Domenico Costanzi had a shrewd business sense, and also started buying lots of land. When the boom started he began by building the Hotel Quirinale on the Via Nazionale itself and then on the adjacent terrain the Teatro dell’Opera. At that time there even was an underground passage from the hotel to the opera house, an amenity much appreciated by the artists.
The architect Achille Sfondrini designed the building, which at the time was called Teatro Costanzi. The first show took place on November 27th 1880, in the presence of the King and Queen of Italy. Though it was known for its excellent acoustics, Costanzi had to put a lot of his own money into the theater to keep it afloat.
The cupola was painted by Annibale Brugnoli.
In 1926 the city of Rome acquired the Teatro and had it restructured and enlarged by the architect Marcello Piacentini, whose main innovation was the enormous chandelier made of crystal from Murano, thought to be the biggest of its kind in the world. The diameter of the chandelier is 6 meters and if it ever falls down while you’re looking up at it you will get 27,000 crystal drops on your head.
The name was also changed and the Teatro Costanzi became the Teatro Reale dell’Opera (Royal Opera Theater). In 1956, after Italy had ceased to be a kingdom, the theater lost the epithet Royal and became simply the Teatro dell’Opera. For the second time Piacentini was commissioned to redesign and enlarge the building.
During the summer the Teatro dell’Opera is closed and the performances take place in the picturesque setting of the Terme di Caracalla.