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The Verdi Theatre - The history

The Verdi Theatre - The history

The building of the Giuseppe Verdi Municipal Theatre was decided by the Town Council of Salerno on December 14, 1863, on proposal of the then mayor Matteo Luciani.

The plan and work management were entrusted to the architects Antonio D' Amora and Giuseppe Manichini who based themselves on the measurement and proportions of the San Carlo Theatre of Naples. The decoration work was, instead, directed by Gaetano D' Agostino, gifted painter who was supported by the most prestigious names of the Neapolitan artistic world. The Theatre was inaugurated on April 15, 1872 with the performance of Rigoletto; on March 27, 1901 the Theatre was dedicated to Giuseppe Verdi, passed away on the first of January of the same year.

Rendered unfit for use because of the 1980’s earthquake, the Theatre had been closed for nearly 14 years. It was restructured and inaugurated again on July 6, 1994, during the celebrations for the 50th anniversary of Salerno Capitale (Salerno had became capital city of Italy for 5 months in 1944).
The restoration brought back to the light some historic-artistic details that make the Theatre – one of the few nineteenth-century wooden structured and perfectly preserved theatres in Italy - even more precious.
On January 22, 1997 the setting of the Falstaff by Verdi, performed by baritone Rolando Panerai, inaugurates the First Opera Season in the recent theatre history, strongly wished by the council administration of Vincenzo De Luca, mayor since then, and by the artistic director of the moment, Janos Acs. To that event is also linked the foundation of the Theatre Opera Chorus.

The First Opera Season was followed by other ones every year, always with a wide public and critical consensus. The Theatre holds today, besides the Opera, Ballet and Concerts Seasons, theatre seasons, reviews, concerts, meetings for the young people, workshops and research seasons. Thousands of students were able to know and appreciate it, thanks to the planned guided visits.
The sensitivity of the municipality administration has worked so that the town could find its music and culture temple at last. As crowning achievement of the historical path marked by music, it came, on the occasion of the tenth anniversary, the appointment of a prominent artistic director such as Daniel Oren, who gives to the Verdi Opera Theatre the right international dimension.