La Scala Theatre was founded in 1778 and soon became the home of the great Italian composers: Rossini, Bellini, Donizetti, Verdi and Puccini are just some of the musicians who presented the premieres of their operas here. In the 20th century the prestige of La Scala was assured by great conductors. After Toscanini, masters such as Victor de Sabata, Gianandrea Gavazzeni, Claudio Abbado, Riccardo Muti, Daniel Barenboim and today Riccardo Chailly preserve and enrich the tradition. The Scala stage has seen the stars of Maria Callas and Renata Tebaldi, Luciano Pavarotti and Placido Domingo shine on, followed today by Anna Netrebko, Diana Damrau, Juan Diego Florez and Francesco Meli. At La Scala, Carla Fracci and Rudolf Nureev, Alessandra Ferri and Roberto Bolle danced. La Scala's productions were conceived by stage directors such as Giorgio Strehler and Luca Ronconi, Bob Wilson and Robert Carsen, while designers such as Yves Saint Laurent, Gianni Versace, Karl Lagerfeld and Giorgio Armani designed the costumes. La Scala's opening season is the world's most famous opera night, broadcast to all continents and celebrated by a festival that fills the streets of Milan for weeks. La Scala's tours have touched five continents and are the most effective ambassador of Italian culture in the world. Today La Scala is waiting to resume its activities: in 2019 it welcomed an audience of over 400,000.