Granieri is known in Piedmont for his copious production of outdoor genre scenes, mainly of streets, squares, and crowded markets, but here he takes on the sublime interior of the Teatro Regio, illustrating its tiniest architectural details and the customs of the audience and musicians. The hall is perfectly illuminated, as was customary at the time, and the balconies are crowded with members of aristocratic families. The musicians are arranged one in front of the other, and it is clear to see how the theatre was a place for socialising, with the audience watching the performance but also eating, chatting, or reading. The painting probably shows a scene from Ignazio Balbi’s opera Lucio Papirio Dittatore, which was put on at the Teatro Regio in Turin on 26 December 1752, with stage design by the Galliari brothers.


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