How La Scala Became The World's Premiere Opera House

Learn why 'the staircase' scaled the heights of world culture

By Google Arts & Culture

Inside view, Teatro alla Scala, Milan Inside view, Teatro alla Scala, MilanTouring Club Italiano

Stairway to Heaven

The theater known as La Scala is among the world's most famous and important performing arts venues, an Opera House and Ballet School which has influenced dance and music around the globe.

Here are  5 need-to-knows which make this grand old theater such an important cultural beacon...

1.Scaling New Heights

 The theater was built on the site of the former church, Santa Maria alla Scala. In fact, the church was dismantled to make way for the Opera House at the behest of Archduke Ferdinand of Austria-Este. That's how important it was to the local community!

La TraviataTeatro Alla Scala

2. Opera the World Over

Some of the world's most renowned and beloved operas have had their debut at La Scala, from Salieri's Europa riconosciuta in 1778 (the theater's opening show) to Giuseppe Verdi's final piece, Falstaff.

It's safe to say that the art of opera would not be what it is without La Scala.

Die Lustige WitweTeatro Alla Scala

3. The Loggione: A Baptism of Fire!

A famous detail of the theater is the seating area high up in the gods, the loggione, which housed less wealthy patrons and broadened the reach and appeal of opera beyond the "elite" class.

Over the centuries, winning over the loggione has become vital for performers. Their opinion really counts, and gaining the approval of the loggionisti has become known as a "baptism of fire".

By Gjon MiliLIFE Photo Collection

4. Step Up!

La Scala is not just a theater. It's also an academy whose prestige is matched only by its strict rigor! 

Throughout its history, the academy has been resonsible for a new dawn not only for opera, but for acting and stage-craft too. 

Europa RiconosciutaTeatro Alla Scala

5. Prima Ballerinas

The academy is also, of course, responsible for producing some of ballet's finest ever talents.

Roberto Bolle, Carla Fracci, Alessandra Ferri , Liliana Cosi - the list of stellar steppers goes on and on, from history to the present day.

Discover more about La Scala here

Learn about 5 famous performances at La Scala here

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