The Teatro Massimo opened its doors to the public on 1897 May 16. It's the largest theatre in Italy and third in Europe.

The international competition for the project and realisation of the opera house had been announced by Palermo Council in 1864, and its prime mover was the mayor, Antonio Starrabba di Rudini.
For a long time there had been talk of building a big new theatre in Palermo, worthy of the second biggest city in southern Italy after Naples.


(Entrance of the Caffè del Teatro Massimo in the early '900)

The opening night happened on May 16 1897: Giuseppe Verdi's Falstaff was the inaugural opera. The conductor was Leopoldo Mugnone. A ticket in the boxes would then cost 80 liras, one in the gallery just 3.

The foyer has a rectangular structure and the dominant colour is a soft red, defined "october colour" as it resembles autumn leaves

Golden stuccoes, wooden decorations, velvet and glass: the horseshoe-shaped auditiorium hosts up to up to 1300 people in the stalls, five floors of boxes and a gallery.

The orchestra pit

The precious ceiling with flower decorations is above a room totally covered by mahogany wood and furnished with sofas and armchairs of red brocade.

Very special room of circular shape, it was originally thought as a smoking room and exclusively reserved for the nobles. It is also called Echo Room for its perfect acoustics.

Operas, Concerts, Celebrities
Life in the theatre through its protagonists

Maria Callas is "Norma" (1951)

Ingrid Bergman is "Giovanna d'Arco" (1955)

Joan Sutherland is "Lucia di Lammermoor" (1960)

Oliviero De Fabritiis (1965)

1968, Luciano Pavarotti is the Duke of Mantova in Rigoletto.

Federico Fellini, Nino Rota, Giulietta Masina, Renato Castellani, Alberto Fassini, Suso Cecchi D'Amico attending the premiere of "La Visita Meravigliosa" by Nino Rota

Franco Zeffirelli (1973)

Renata Scotto is "Violetta" (1973)

Mario Del Monaco is "Canio" (1974)

Claudio Abbado directed the concert for the reopening of the Teatro (1997 May 12)

1997 May 12, Franco Mannino directed the Orchestra for the reopening of the Theatre

2000, ballet "Masuraca fogo", choreographer Pina Baush

"Masuraca Fogo" (2000)

Pina Bausch (2000)

Zubin Mehta (2001)

Mario Martone directed "Lulu" by Alban Berg, 2001

Giovanni Sollima (2001)

Daniel Oren directed Tosca in 2014

Laura Giordano is "Marie" - Fille du régiment (2014)

2014, director Filippo Crivelli with his assistant Carlo Cinque and the actor Filippo Luna, working on "La fille du règiment" by Gaetano Donizetti.

Emma Dante, directed "Feuersnot" in 2014

A scene from "Feursnot" (2014), directed by Emma Dante

2014, "Feursnot" by Richard Strauss, scene designs by Carmine Maringola

Gabriele Ferro

2015, Marco Betta and Roberto Andò, composer and director for "Il quadro nero"

Siegfried (2015)

Siegfried (2015)

"Il Flauto magico" (2015)

"Il Flauto magico" (2015)

Götterdämmerung (2016)

Götterdämmerung (2016)

Erwin Schrott is "Attila" (2016)

Erwin Schrott is "Attila" (2016)

La Cenerentola (2016)

Anbeta Toromani e Alessandro Macario in "Coppelia"(2015)

Orphée et Eurydice (2015)

Omaggio a Martha Graham (2015)

Omaggio a Martha Graham (2015)

Omaggio a Martha Graham (2015)

Mariella Devia (2016)

Elena Mosuc is "Lucia di Lammermoor" (2016)

La Cenerentola (2016)

Nadine Sierra is "Lucia di Lammermoor" (2016)

2016, the fashion designer Emanuel Ungaro created the costumes for Mariella Devia in "Le tre regine".

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