15 votes 15 votes
La Scala, as the Teatro alla Scala is locally known, was built at the end of the eighteenth century. The opera house soon became one of the world's most revered venues and numerous famous works by composers such as Verdi and Bellini premiered here.


In 1776 a fire destroyed Milan's opera house, the 1717 Teatro Regio Ducale. Empress Maria Theresa, who was also Duchess of Milan, ordered the construction of a new opera house at the site of the fifteenth century church of Santa Maria della Scala, which was razed to make way for the new building.

Teatro alla Scala in Milan
Teatro alla Scala
The new opera house, named Teatro alla Scala after the church, was designed by court architect Giuseppe Piermarini. Construction of the building took just two years and the opera house was inaugurated on August 3, 1778 with Antonio Salieri's l'Europa Riconosciuta.

The opera house was destroyed during the bombardments of Milan in 1943. It was the first public building that was reconstructed after the war and it opened already on 11 May 1946 with a concert directed by Arturo Toscanini.

The Building

The exterior of the Scala is rather unassuming for such an important building, probably because it was originally located on a narrow street; the Piazza della Scala was only created in 1858. The main facade shows a three-bay carriage entrance topped by a neoclassical front with pilasters and a central pediment.

Poster announcing
Tosca, an opera
by Puccini
In contrast with the exterior, the building's interior is sumptuous. Its foyer is decorated with fluted columns and large mirrors line the walls. The auditorium, known for its exceptional acoustics, has a seating capacity of just over two thousand. It is lavishly decorated with red velvet, silk and gilded stucco. The chandelier is made of Bohemian crystal and contains 365 lamps. The podium is one of the world's largest with a total surface of 1,200 square meters.

Museo Teatrale alla Scala

The Theater Museum was founded in 1913 with the purchase of a collection of Jules Sambon, a Parisian antique dealer who had a unique collection of theatrical attributes. The museum depicts the history of the Teatro alla Scala and the history of the opera in general with a display of paintings, statues, set designs, instruments, original musical scores and other theatrical memorabilia. A large section of the museum is dedicated to Giuseppe Verdi, one of Italy's most famous composers.

Private tour of Teatro alla Scala Museum in Milan
  • Duration: 2 hours
  • Book this tour
From USD
La Scala Theater guided experience
  • Duration: 1 hour 30 minutes
  • Book this tour
From USD
La Scala Theatre and Museum Tour in Milan
  • Duration: 60 minutes
  • Book this tour
From USD
Skip the Line: Duomo Cathedral and La Scala Theatre
  • Duration: 2 hours
  • Book this tour
From USD
Milan: Private Guided Tour of Teatro alla Scala Museum
  • Duration: 2 hours
  • Book this tour
From USD
Duomo (M1, M3)
Piazza della Scala
Press <ESC> to close
© 2020 www.aviewoncities.com