MUNICIPAL THEATER OF SIRACUSA | EXHIBITION OF CULTURE
In Siracusa there are two popular and famous theatres: the Greek Theatre and the Municipal Theatre, which have two different architectural layouts precisely because reflect two different ways to consider and experience the theatre.
Siracusa’s Greek Theatre is entirely carved into limestone rocks. It is one of the most important and prestigious archaeological evidence of Greek traditions in Sicily; currently continues to be used, because of performances of the ancient Classical Greek Dramas, experienced even in the past as a form of social complaint and conversation.
Siracusa’s Municipal Theatre is the classic example and symbol of wealth and prestige, representing perfectly the idea of the 19th century of theatre-monument. It was built in 1872 by engineer Breda, replacing the area of the Annunziata’s Church and Monastery.
Last opera performed is dated to 1958, it was “Cavalleria Rusticana”. Just four years later the Theatre closed definitively.
Today it is finally open again after 50 years of renovation works, and it is back to being a distinctive landmark for Siracusa: don’t miss it.
Theatre’s structure presents a various range of styles from neo-renaissance to neoclassical. The main facade looks out on Via del Teatro with a neo-renaissance structure which juts forward to allow carriages’ passage. The Foyer is on upper level and has wide quadrangular double-lancet windows; in here were entertained spectators before and after the show, and during intermission. Internally the building has the classic interior of an Italian theatre: a horseshoe-shaped hall featuring audience seating in the middle, surrounded by three levels of box seats, an orchestra pit and a deeper and wider stage than ever. The theatre was originally designed to seat 1022 spectators, but today it can seat 476 allocated among box seats, gallery and some 200 viewers in the audience.
Via del Teatro, Siracusa, SR, 96100
Full ticket: € 5,00
Reduced ticket: € 3,00
(under 18/over 65/Family/Military and law enforcement)
Disabled with accompanying person
tel. +39 329 24 17 142
The interior of the theatre was entirely decorated by the same team which worked at the Theatre Politeama in Palermo, which included architect Giuseppe Damiani D’Almeyda and painter Gustavo Mancinelli. The artistic staff renovated the typical and classical style of the 19th Italian theatres, with an eclectic ornamental motif, inspired by different and suggestive styles such as Classic, Pompeian and modern Art Nouveau.
All the paintings in the main hall were done with tempera on canvas and attached to wooden panels with a thin layers of drywall.
The box stage boards are decorated with dancing Pompeian cherubs and garlands, classic portraits of men and women and flowing floral art nouveau ornamentation.
On each side of the stage there are elegant decorations which depict the columns of liberty and on the top part stands the Winged Nike (winged Victory). The downstage is embellished with the Classical theatrical masks representing tragedy and comedy, while in the middle part two angels hold up an eagle with spread wings, that’s the emblem of Siracusa.
The paintings on the vault are made with tromp-l’oeil effect and depict the Allegory of Arts. Mancinelli broke illusively theatre’s ceiling, depicting a circular balustrade that opens to the sky, where three female figures hold a laurel crown (sacred plant for Apollo god of music, poetry and arts) and musical instruments: the lyre and the trumpet. The winged cherubs represent architecture, poetry, painting and dance.
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