An opera house La Scala (in Italian Teatro alla Scala) is a world-famous center of opera culture. It is situated in the Italian city of Milan.
The History of La Scala
Teatro alla Scala was erected on a small city square on the place of an old church Santa Maria della Scala, from which the theatre got its name. The architectural project belongs to Giuseppe Piermarini. A grand construction was started in the middle of the 1776 year, and on the 3rd of August 1778, the theatre was opened with a performance of “Europa riconosciuta” that was made especially for this occasion.
The building of the theatre La Scala is a bright representative of the Neo-Classical style – the architecture is among the most beautiful in the world, and its outstanding acoustics had become a legend for ages. The hall is developed in the shape of a horseshoe and the decoration is made in the golden hues. There are five levels of loges, and a gallery.
After an opening, the theatre La Scala had become a center of Opera Epoch of the 18th-19th centuries. The repertoire included the works of such famous Italian composers as Gioachino Rossini, Vincenzo Bellini, Giuseppe Verdi, Giacomo Puccini, Gaetano Donizetti, and the German genius Ludwig van Beethoven.
During the World War II, in 1943, the theatre in Milan was destroyed. However, the troupe kept practicing and performed in the other locations.
After the Italy liberation in 1945, Arturo Toscanini gave a million lire to the government of Milan for a reconstruction of La Scala. The building of the theatre was renewed in its original appearance by the engineer Luigi Secchi, and the grand opening of the opera house was held in 1946. The last reconstruction works were taken in 2001-2004 by the architect Mario Botta. In particular, the main stage of the theatre was enlarged, and the number of seats was reduced: now the theatre hall can house 2030 spectators.
La Scala Repertoire
Today the theatre repertoire is very diverse: here you can attend both classical and modern plays. The repertoire in La Scala changes every month of the theatre season, and sometimes you should wait several years for a stage play already performed. Such stage performances as “Otello”, “Madama Butterfly”, and others are renewed every few years (in classical and modern variants).
The Features of the Teatro alla Scala Attendance
Where to Buy Tickets and Ticket Prices
You can buy a ticket to La Scala online, at the ticket office near the theatre, or at the central booking office by the Duomo metro station. A ticket sale on the official website starts two months before a play; however, as earlier you take care of your ticket, as a wider range of prices and places you have. If you are lucky, you can buy a ticket at the theatre box office on the day of a show (an opera, a ballet, a concert), but usually tickets are sold before the date of a performance. That is why if you want to get to the theatre, it is recommended to buy a ticket in advance.
Ticket prices start from 15 Euros (a gallery, and the upper circles), while for the prestigious seats (a loge, the stalls, a dress circle, the tiered stalls, a ground-floor box) you should pay 150-200 Euros. On the day of the theatre season opening, the prices are the highest.
Season opening – € 20;
Opera – € 15;
Ballet – € 10;
Concert – € 5.
A Dress Code
Rumors about the necessity to wear evening dresses and tuxedos are exaggerated, although you can see them a lot in the stalls. The official regulations hint that the public should dress decently out of respect to the theater and its guests. Visitors in shorts or sleeveless T-shirts are not allowed in the auditorium (in this case, the tickets will not be refunded).
Tours around the Theatre
If you like to get to know what is going on behind the scenes of the theatre, you can book an excursion. The guides together with the heads of the workshops show the visitors the places and pavilions where the decorations, stage properties, and artists’ costumes are produced. The tour program ends in the hall, where you can watch the rehearsals.
Services for People with Disabilities:
Excursions and seminars with the usage of sound;
Excursions in sign language.
Tour Days: Tuesday and Thursday.
From 9 am to 12 pm – groups and schools;
From 2 pm to 4 pm – private visitors.
10 € - private visitor;
8 € - per person (a group of 15 or more people);
70 € - group of pupils (max 25 people);
Free of charge – children younger 12 years old.
On the territory of the theatre, there is a restaurant “II Marchesino” (opens at 12 pm) and a shop where you can buy CDs, DVDs, and books.
The Museum Teatrale alla Scala
The Museum Teatrale alla Scala was founded in 1913 as a result of the prestigious collection purchase that belonged to a collector of antiques Giulio Sambon at the Paris auction. In the following years, the theatre collection was enriched, and now it comprises thousands of unique exhibits that are housed in ten thematic rooms. Most popular rooms: a room of musical instruments, a room of porcelain figures, a hall of opera prima donnas, and a hall of the twentieth century. Several rooms are dedicated to portraiture and busts of great composers and conductors; in the other rooms, you can observe the scores, personal things of the maestros, properties for performances, and many other things. There is a library on the territory of the museum, where besides the shelves with books, the theater costumes are on display.
Opening Hours (daily) – from 9 am to 5:30 pm.
December 7, 24, 25, 26, and 31 (24th and 31st of December the theatre is closed in the afternoon);
The Easter Holiday;
Ticket Price to the Museum:
Adult ticket – 9 €;
Student ticket – 6 €;
Reduced ticket – 6 € (group of 10 people and more, pupils older than 12 years old, people order 65 y.o., Touring Club, FAI).
Free entrance: children under age 12, visitors with disabilities, guides, ICOM members, military forces members.
Location and How to Get
Address: Via Filodrammatici, 2, 20121 Milan MI, Italy
Near the Milan Opera Theater, there is the Piazza della Scala square, in the center of which is a monument of the great genius - Leonardo da Vinci. On the lower layer of the pedestal, there are the figures of Leonardo’s followers: Marco d'Oggiono, Cesare da Sesto, Giovanni Boltraffio and Salai.
How to Get
By Metro (the nearest stations):
Cordusio (line «М1»);
Montenapoleone (line «М3»).
By bus no. 61, go to the bus-stop Via Monte Di Pieta’ Via Verdi.
By tram no. 1, go to the tram station Teatro Alla Scala.
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