Teatro Lirico Giuseppe Verdi

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Facade of Teatro Lirico Giuseppe Verdi

The Teatro Lirico Giuseppe Verdi is an opera house located in Trieste, Italy and named after the composer Giuseppe Verdi. Privately constructed, it was inaugurated as the Teatro Nuovo to replace the smaller 800-seat "Cesareo Regio Teatro di San Pietro" on 21 April 1801 with a performance of Johann Simon Mayr's Ginevra di Scozia . Initially, the Nuovo had 1,400 seats. In 1821, it became known as the Teatro Grande.

Opera house theatre building used for opera performances

An opera house is a theatre building used for opera performances that consists of a stage, an orchestra pit, audience seating, and backstage facilities for costumes and set building.

Trieste Comune in Friuli-Venezia Giulia, Italy

Trieste is a city and a seaport in northeastern Italy. It is situated towards the end of a narrow strip of Italian territory lying between the Adriatic Sea and Slovenia, which lies almost immediately south and east of the city. It is also located near Croatia some further 30 kilometres (19 mi) south.

Composer person who creates music, either by musical notation or oral tradition

A composer is a musician who is an author of music in any form, including vocal music, instrumental music, electronic music, and music which combines multiple forms. A composer may create music in any music genre, including, for example, classical music, musical theatre, blues, folk music, jazz, and popular music. Composers often express their works in a written musical score using musical notation.


By the end of the 18th century, the need for a new theatre in Trieste became evident. Its main theatre, the Teatro di San Pietro, had become increasingly inadequate and finally closed its doors in 1800. A proposal to the Austrian Chancery from Giovanni Matteo Tommasini to build a private theatre had existed since 1795 and, in June 1798, a contract was drawn up whereby annual funding would come from the municipality and Tommasini would hold the rights to several boxes and the rights to sell others. Gian Antonio Selva, the architect of the La Fenice in Venice, was engaged, and he designed a classic horseshoe-shaped auditorium. However, his exterior designs were considered to be too plain for the Austrians who then engaged another architect, Matteo Pertsch, to solve the problem, which was accomplished by incorporating elements of Milan's La Scala opera house. The "Nuovo" became a mixture of La Fenice on the inside and La Scala on the exterior.

Gian Antonio Selva Italian architect

Gian Antonio Selva was an Italian neoclassical architect.

La Fenice opera house in Venice, Italy

Teatro La Fenice is an opera house in Venice, Italy. It is one of "the most famous and renowned landmarks in the history of Italian theatre", and in the history of opera as a whole. Especially in the 19th century, La Fenice became the site of many famous operatic premieres at which the works of several of the four major bel canto era composers – Rossini, Bellini, Donizetti, Verdi – were performed.

Venice Comune in Veneto, Italy

Venice is a city in northeastern Italy and the capital of the Veneto region.


Several name changes have occurred during the theatre's lifetime, the first in 1821 when it became the Teatro Grande [1] and it was under this name that the theatre was the site of two Verdi opera premieres: Il corsaro in 1848 (featuring the soprano Giuseppina Strepponi, who Verdi married in 1859, in the leading role) and Stiffelio , a production which Verdi supervised - not without controversy - in 1850. [2] However, before these premieres, Verdi's operas had begun to dominate the Teatro Grande's stage, followed, as the century progressed, by all the major works of the opera repertoire, including those by Puccini and Wagner.

<i>Il corsaro</i> opera by Giuseppe Verdi

Il corsaro is an opera in three acts by Giuseppe Verdi, from a libretto by Francesco Maria Piave, based on Lord Byron's poem The Corsair. The first performance was given at the Teatro Grande in Trieste on 25 October 1848.

Giuseppina Strepponi Italian singer

Clelia Maria Josepha (Giuseppina) Strepponi was a nineteenth-century Italian operatic soprano of great renown and the second wife of composer Giuseppe Verdi.

<i>Stiffelio</i> opera by Giuseppe Verdi

Stiffelio is an opera in three acts by Giuseppe Verdi, from an Italian libretto by Francesco Maria Piave. The origin of this was the novel “Le pasteur d’hommes”, by Émile Souvestre, which was published in 1838. This was adapted into the French play Le pasteur, ou L'évangile et le foyer by Émile Souvestre and Eugène Bourgeois. That was in turn translated into Italian by Gaetano Vestri as Stifellius; this formed the basis of Piave's libretto.

A further name change followed in 1861 due to a change from private to public ownership. Thus it became the Teatro Comunale and existed as such throughout the latter years of the 19th century. By 1881, seating capacity had been increased to 2,000 through the use of existing standing room spaces; but, by that December, the theatre was declared to be unsafe and it was closed for renovations, during which electricity replaced gas lighting for the reopening in 1889 with 1,000 seats.

Within hours of his death in January 1901, [3] the theatre was once again renamed, this time to honour the memory of Giuseppe Verdi. It was extensively restored between 1992 and 1997 and re-opened with about 1,300 seats [4] and with a Viva Verdi concert [3] which included excerpts from many of the composer's operas. (Like the restoration of La Scala between 2001 and 2004, a temporary alternative venue was quickly created in Trieste and the Sala Tripcovich continues to offer space for chamber opera and operettas.)

La Scala Opera house in Milan, Italy

La Scala is an opera house in Milan, Italy. The theatre was inaugurated on 3 August 1778 and was originally known as the Nuovo Regio Ducale Teatro alla Scala. The premiere performance was Antonio Salieri's Europa riconosciuta.

A major feature of the Teatro Verdi's programming in the past 40 years, which stems from the original Austrian occupation of the city in the 19th century and the fact that Trieste did not become part of Italy until 1918, is the "International Festival of Operetta" which takes place every summer.


The theatre has seen the world premieres of the following operas:

Simon Mayr German composer

Johann(es) Simon Mayr, also known in Italian as Giovanni Simone Mayr or Simone Mayr, was a German composer.

Antonio Salieri Italian classical composer and conductor

Antonio Salieri was an Italian classical composer, conductor, and teacher. He was born in Legnago, south of Verona, in the Republic of Venice, and spent his adult life and career as a subject of the Habsburg Monarchy.

Cesare Pugni Italian composer

Cesare Pugni born in Genoa, was an Italian composer of ballet music, a pianist and a violinist. In his early career he composed operas, symphonies, and various other forms of orchestral music. Pugni is most noted for the ballets he composed for Her Majesty's Theatre in London (1843–1850), and for the Imperial Theatres in St. Petersburg, Russia (1850–1870). The majority of his ballet music was composed for the works of the ballet master Jules Perrot, who mounted nearly every one of his ballets to scores by Pugni. In 1850 Perrot departed London for Russia, having accepted the position of Premier maître de ballet of the St. Petersburg Imperial Theatres at the behest of Carlotta Grisi, who was engaged as Prima ballerina. Cesare Pugni followed Perrot and Grisi to Russia, and remained in the imperial capital even after Grisi's departure in 1853 and Perrot's departure in 1858. Pugni went on the compose for Perrot's successors Arthur Saint-Léon and Marius Petipa, serving as the Imperial Theatre's official composer of ballet music until his death in 1870.

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  1. "To distinguish it from those less illustrious", Lynn, p.82
  2. "Leave the libretto as it is or I will withdraw the opera", Verdi, quoted in Lynn, p.85
  3. 1 2 Lynn, p.83
  4. "il "Verdi" ha attualmente, a seguito dell’ultima ristrutturazione, la capienza originale di circa 1300 posti", Theatre's website
  5. Rice, John, Antonio Salieri and Viennese Opera , University of Chicago Press, 1998, p. 602. ISBN   0-226-71125-0
  6. originally given at the first performance as Rosmonda d'Inghilterra
International Standard Book Number Unique numeric book identifier

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Coordinates: 45°39′04″N13°46′08″E / 45.651°N 13.769°E / 45.651; 13.769