By Barbara Hahijary
What could support performing artists better than the venue? Since the era of Renaissance, (the European’s era of rebirth), Milan has housed one of the greatest opera houses in history, Teatro alla Scala. The opera house, built in 1778, is known as the New Royal-Ducal Theatro alla Scala (Nuovo Regio Ducale Teatro alla Scala) or La Scala for short.
Two years prior to La Scala’s completion, Milan’s other opera house, 58-year-old Teatro Regio Ducal woefully burned down. Instead of building a new theatre on the same land, the people of Milan chose a location that was once The Church of Santa Maria alla Scala, hence the name of the opera house. The building was renovated in the early 2000s to mimic the experience offered by the original one.
Corresponding to numerous architectural works of the 18th century, the opera house possesses a neoclassic arrangement – starting from its façade to the theatre room. The façade, the main entrance all the way to the front side of the stage, are all in an off-white tone.
La Scala is considered one of the biggest stages in Italy. If we count the seats on the balconies, the opera house can hold about 3,000 attendees. The stage is made of wood to allow for a good audio quality from the instruments played on stage. The exceptional acoustic is also made possible with the half oval plan. The audience has a pleasant view of the stage thanks to the ascending seating. Inside, the opera boasts a beautiful grand chandelier that hangs at the right height as to not obstruct the view from the balconies. Additional lighting illuminates the balconies, enhancing their Baroque accents.
Fast-forward to 2015 (or soon enough, 2016) La Scala still maintains their title as a prestigious opera house, hosting regular performances by prominent orchestras, choirs, theatre and other performing arts. Besides being a place for opera and ballet performances, the venue has their own groups (La Scala Orchestra, La Scala Chorus and La Scala Ballet) and academy.