Teatro alla Scala

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Milan Scala (2011)

The Milan Scala , Italian Teatro alla Scala in Milan , also Scala for short , is one of the most famous and important opera houses in the world. It is on the Piazza della Scala , after which the opera house was named. The square takes its name from the church of Santa Maria della Scala , built here in 1381 and named after the donor , Beatrice Regina della Scala , wife of Bernabò Visconti . La Scala in Milan seats 2,030 spectators.

History of the Opera House

Plan for La Scala of 1779
Scala in the 19th century
View of the auditorium

The Scala is the successor building to the Teatro Regio Ducale that burned down in 1776 . In the capital of what was then Austrian Lombardy , Maria Theresa had the church of Santa Maria alla Scala demolished for the new building and the rather plain-looking new opera house built by the classicist architect Giuseppe Piermarini in just 23 months. The entrance is formed by a vestibule with a portico. Above the row of windows is a pediment with the sun chariot of Apollo . The new house was opened on August 3, 1778, and Antonio Salieri's opera L'Europa riconosciuta was performed for the premiere .

After being severely damaged in World War II (1943), the legendary opera house was rebuilt in record time. On May 11, 1946, the house was reopened with a concert conducted by Arturo Toscanini . Various mistakes were to blame for the hasty reconstruction, for example rubble was dumped under the orchestra pit, which impaired the acoustics. A thorough renovation was urgently needed. A heated discussion broke out about the type of renovation. Despite considerable protests, a collection of 18,000 signatures by the prima ballerina Carla Fracci in favor of the preservation and careful modernization of the fully functional stage equipment and despite court proceedings, the Scala was partially demolished. The foyer, the auditorium and the outer walls supported by steel beams remained. The entire back part, starting with the wooden stage, has been removed.

From 2002 to early December 2004, the Milan Scala was closed to bring the acoustics and stage technology up to date while largely preserving the style of the original interior. The Swiss architect Mario Botta was commissioned with the renovation . A theater with the most modern stage technology was built under his responsibility, but the foyer and auditorium received a reconstruction of the equipment from 1778. Since then, rehearsals have been possible on three stages at the same time. The new stage tower reaches a height of 38 meters.

The opera house was reopened on December 7, 2004 with the same opera as when it was first opened: L'Europa riconosciuta . Luca Ronconi was the director , Pier Luigi Pizzi designed the stage set , Riccardo Muti was the conductor , and the leading role was sung by the German soprano Diana Damrau . Among the 2000 invited guests were Sophia Loren and Giorgio Armani as well as members of several European royal houses. A ticket in the highest price category for the opening event cost 2,400 euros.

A conflict arose over the personality of the successor to artistic director Carlo Fontana . Music director Muti favored Maurizio Meli , but the workforce spoke out against him in protest meetings. The waves were so high that Muti no longer saw confidence in his person and resigned. Eventually, Stéphane Lissner , director of the festival in Aix-en-Provence and music director of the Wiener Festwochen , and Alexander Pereira , director of the Zurich Opera House , emerged as the most important successor candidates. Lissner was appointed in 2005 and gave up his position in Aix.

On October 1, 2014, Alexander Pereira succeeded Lissner.

In March 2019, the Scala board of directors rejected Saudi Arabia’s entry into the Milan opera house – in return for payment of a few million as a sponsor  . After a major public rejection of the millions in funds arranged by artistic director Alexander Pereira against the appointment of the Saudi Arabian culture minister to the Scala supervisory board, politicians from all Italian parties opposed the initiative.

game time

The season begins every year on December 7th, the name day of Milan's patron saint, Bishop and Church Father St. Ambrose (Sant'Ambrogio).


According to information from the opera house, the best seats in terms of visibility and acoustics are in boxes 19, which are in the middle of the back stalls.

All performances traditionally begin “on the hour” on the hour. This is also pointed out in bold on the website, as this is not at all customary for Italian customs. In the past it was even customary to set the clocks according to the start of the game.

A Google Doodle was dedicated to the opera house on the 238th anniversary of its inauguration on August 3, 2016 .


Daniel Barenboim , Principal Guest Conductor/ Music Director 2006–2014

General Managers

Artistic Directors

music directors

choir directors


date Opera Composer /
Conducting (D) / direction (R) / stage design (B) / costumes (K) / cast Remarks
3 Aug 1778 L'Europa riconosciuta Antonio Salieri /
Mattia Verazi (~1730–1794)
26 Dec 1805 Adelasia ed Aleramo Johann Simon Mayr /
Luigi Romanelli
1805 Eraldo ed Emma Johann Simon Mayr /
Gaetano Rossi
Sep 26 1812 La pietra del paragone Gioachino Rossini /
Luigi Romanelli
14 Aug 1814 Il turco in Italia Gioachino Rossini /
Felice Romani
26 Dec 1820 Fedra Johann Simon Mayr /
Luigi Romanelli
27 Oct 1827 Il pirate Vincenzo Bellini /
Felice Romani
14 Feb 1829 La Straniera Vincenzo Bellini /
Felice Romani
26 Dec 1831 Norma Vincenzo Bellini /
Felice Romani
March 13, 1832 Ugo, conte di Parigi Gaetano Donizetti /
Felice Romani
26 Dec 1833 Lucretia Borgia Gaetano Donizetti /
Felice Romani
30 Dec 1835 Mary Stuarda
(Mary Stuart)
Gaetano Donizetti /
Giuseppe Bardari
17 Nov 1839 Oberto conte di San Bonifacio Giuseppe Verdi /
Antonio Piazza, Bartolomeo Merelli (1794–1879) and Temistocle Solera (1815–1878)
5 Sep 1840 Un giorno di regno
(King for a day)
Giuseppe Verdi /
Felice Romani
March 13, 1841 Il proscritto
(The exile)
Otto Nicolai /
Gaetano Rossi (1774–1855)
March 9, 1842 Nabucco Giuseppe Verdi /
Temistocle Solera
1 Feb 1843 I Lombardi alla prima crociata
(The Lombards on the First Crusade)
Giuseppe Verdi /
Temistocle Solera and Tommaso Grossi (1790–1853)
Giacomo Panizza (D)
15 Feb 1845 Giovanna d'Arco Giuseppe Verdi /
Temistocle Solera
March 5, 1868 Mefistofele
(1st version)
Arrigo Boito
March 7, 1874 I lituani
(The Lithuanians)
Amilcare Ponchielli /
Antonio Ghislanzoni
Franco Faccio (D)
8 Apr 1876 La Gioconda Amilcare Ponchielli /
Arrigo Boito
Franco Faccio (D)
26 Dec 1880 Il figliuol prodigo Amilcare Ponchielli /
Angelo Zanardini (1820–1893)
March 17, 1885 Marion Delorme Amilcare Ponchielli and
Enrico Golisciani
Franco Faccio (D)
5 Feb 1887 Othello Giuseppe Verdi /
Arrigo Boito
Franco Faccio (D)
21 Apr 1899 Edgar Giacomo Puccini /
Ferdinando Fontana (1850–1919)
Franco Faccio (D)
Jan 20, 1892 La Wally Alfredo Catalani /
Luigi Illica
9 Feb 1893 Falstaff Giuseppe Verdi /
Arrigo Boito
Edoardo Mascheroni (D)
16 Feb 1895 Guglielmo Ratcliff Pietro Mascagni /
Andrea Maffei (1798–1885) (after Heinrich Heine )
March 25, 1895 Silvano Pietro Mascagni /
Giovanni Targioni Tozzetti
March 28, 1896 Andrea Chenier Umberto Giordano and
Luigi Illica
Jan 17, 1901 Le maschere
(The Masks)
Pietro Mascagni and
Luigi Illica
Arturo Toscanini (D) / Enrico Caruso (Florindo) Simultaneous premieres on other stages: Genoa ( Teatro Carlo Felice ), Turin (Teatro Regio), Rome (Teatro Costanzi), Venice ( Teatro La Fenice ), Verona ( Teatro Filarmonico )
March 1, 1902 Germania
Alberto Franchetti /
Luigi Illica
Arturo Toscanini (D) / with Enrico Caruso
19 Dec 1903 Siberia
Umberto Giordano and
Luigi Illica
Cleofonte Campanini (1860–1919) (D)
17 Feb 1904 Madam Butterfly Giacomo Puccini /
Giuseppe Giacosa and Luigi Illica
Cleofonte Campanini (D)
March 29, 1906 Notte di leggenda Alberto Franchetti /
Giovacchino Forzano
15 Dec 1913 Parisina Pietro Mascagni /
Gabriele D'Annunzio
Jan 14, 1915 Notte di leggenda Alberto Franchetti /
Giovacchino Forzano
Gino Marinuzzi (1882–1945) (D) / Giulio Cirino (Conte Aldovrandi), Cecilia Gagliardi (Vanna Aldovrandi), Giuseppe De Luca (Principe Gualberto Vismundi), Manfredo Polverosi (Gilfredo dei Vaschi), Luigi Ferroni (Neri) Premiere of the new version
March 20, 1915 Fedra Ildebrando Pizzetti /
Gabriele D'Annunzio
16 Dec 1922 Debora e Jaele Ildebrando Pizzetti
26 Apr 1923 Belfagor Ottorino Respighi /
Claudio Guastalla (1880–1948)
Antonio Guarnieri (1880–1952) (D) / Giovacchino Forzano (R) / Vittorio Rota and Cesare Fratino (B) / Mariano Stabile (1888–1968) (Belfagor), Gaetano Azzolini (1876–1928) (Mirocleto)
May 1, 1924 Nerone Arrigo Boito Arturo Toscanini (D) Fragment; supplemented by Antonio Smareglia , Vittorio Tommasini [1879–1964] and Arturo Toscanini
20 Dec 1924 La cena delle beffe
(The Mockers' Supper)
Umberto Giordano /
Sem Benelli (1877–1949)
Arturo Toscanini (D)
March 7, 1925 I cavalieri di Ekebù
(The Lords of Ekeby)
Riccardo Zandonai /
Arturo Rossato (after Selma Lagerlöf )
Arturo Toscanini (D)
25 Apr 1926 Turandot Giacomo Puccini /
Giuseppe Adami (1878–1946) and Renato Simoni (1875–1952)
Arturo Toscanini (D) premiere as a fragment; The version supplemented by Franco Alfano was played from the 2nd performance
29 Dec 1927 Sly ovvero La leggenda del dormiente risvegliato
(Sly or The Legend of the Sleeper Reawakened)
Ermanno Wolf-Ferrari /
Giovacchino Forzano
Ettore Panizza (1875–1967) (D) / Aureliano Pertile (Sly), Mercedes Llopart (1895–1970) (Dolly)
May 16, 1928 Fra Gherardo Ildebrando Pizzetti Arturo Toscanini (D)
Jan 12, 1929 Il rè
(The King)
Umberto Giordano /
Giovacchino Forzano
Feb 1929 Le preziose ridicole
(The Ridiculous Preciousnesses)
Felice Lattuada (1882–1962) /
Arturo Rossato (after Molière )
Jan 16, 1935 Nerone Pietro Mascagni /
Giovanni Targioni-Tozzetti (after Pietro Cossa [1830–1880])
Pietro Mascagni (D)
12 Feb 1936 Il campiello
(The small square)
Ermanno Wolf-Ferrari /
Mario Ghisalberti (after Carlo Goldoni )
Gino Marinuzzi (1882–1945) (D)
Jan 2, 1947 L'oro (The Gold) Ildebrando Pizzetti Ildebrando Pizzetti (D)
21 Feb 1948 Le Baccanti
(The Bacchantes)
Giorgio Federico Ghedini /
Tullio Pinelli (b. 1908) (after Euripides )
14 Feb 1953 Trionfo di Afrodite Carl Orff /
(after Catullus , Sappho , Euripides )
Herbert von Karajan (D)
March 24, 1954 La figlia del Diavolo Virgilio Mortari /
Corrado Pavolini (1898–1980)
Nino Sanzogno (1911–1983) (D)
March 24, 1954 La gita in campagna
(The Excursion to the Country)
Mario Peragallo (1910-1996) /
Alberto Moravia
Nino Sanzogno (D)
March 10, 1956 L'ipocrita felice
(The happy hypocrite)
Giorgio Federico Ghedini and
Franco Antonicelli
Antonino Votto (D) First performance at the Teatro Piccola Scala
Jan 10, 1957 Caino
Felice Lattuada /
Giuseppe Zambianchi
Nino Sanzogno (D) / Mario Frigerio (R) / Nicola Benois (B)
Jan 26, 1957 Les Dialogues des Carmélites
(Conversations of the Carmelites)
Francis Poulenc /
(after Georges Bernanos )
Nino Sanzogno (D) / Margherita Wallmann / Nicola Benois (B)
March 1, 1958 Assassinio nella
cathedrale (Murder in the Cathedral)
Ildebrando Pizzetti /
(after T.S. Eliot )
Gianandrea Gavazzeni (D) / Margherita Wallmann (R)
March 23, 1961 Il calzare d'argento
(The Silver Shoe)
Ildebrando Pizzetti /
Riccardo Bacchelli
June 18, 1962 Atlántida
Manuel de Falla /
(after Jacint Verdaguer )
Thomas Schippers (D) / Margherita Wallmann (R) Teresa Stratas (Queen Isabella), Giulietta Simionato (Pirene), Roger Browne (Narrator) Fragment; supplemented by Ernesto Halffter
March 5, 1963 Les mamelles de
Tiresias (The Breasts of Tiresias)
Francis Poulenc /
Guillaume Apollinaire
World premiere of the chamber orchestra version/Piccola Scala
May 6, 1963 Passaggio
Luciano Berio and
Edoardo Sanguineti
Piccola Scala
March 1, 1965 Clitennestra
Ildebrando Pizzetti Gianandrea Gavazzeni (D)
March 27, 1965 nuclear death Giacomo Manzoni (* 1932) /
Emilio Jonah
Claudio Abbado (D) / Virginio Puecher (R) / Josef Svoboda (1920–2002) (B) Piccola Scala
1966 L'albergo dei poveri
(night shelter)
Flavio Testi /
(after Maxim Gorky )
Piccola Scala
May 19, 1972 La camera degli sposi Paolo Renosto /
Antonio Rostagno
Giampiero Taverna (D) / Diaz Antonelli Madau (R) / Savi (B) Piccola Scala
March 2, 1973 Amore e Psiche Salvatore Sciarrino /
Aurelio Pes
Giampiero Taverna (D) / Filippo Crivelli (R) / Cavaliere (B) Piccola Scala
Apr 4, 1975 Al gran sole carico d'amore Luigi Nono /
Yuri Lyubimov (* 1917)
Claudio Abbado (D) / Yuri Lyubimov (R) / David Borovskij (B) World premiere with the Scala ensemble at the Teatro Lirico ; First performance of the 2nd version: February 11, 1978
Apr 7, 1976 Nottetempo
Sylvano Bussotti /
Romano Amidei
Giampiero Taverna (D) / Romano Amidei (R) / Varisco (B)
Dec 9, 1980 Le Racine, pianobar pour Phèdre Sylvano Bussotti Massimo de Bernardt (D) Piccola Scala
5 Feb 1981 Il sosia
(The Double)
Flavio Testi /
(after Dostoyevsky )
Roberto Abbado (D) / Virginio Puecher (R) / Pagano (B) / With Philip Langridge Piccola Scala
March 15, 1981 Thursday out of light Karlheinz Stockhausen Péter Eötvös (D) / Luca Ronconi (R) / Gae Aulenti (B)
March 9, 1982 La vera storia
(The true story)
Luciano Berio /
Italo Calvino
Luciano Berio (D) / Maurizio Scaparro (R) / Tommasi (B)
Jan 15, 1983 Lohengrin Salvatore Sciarrino /
(after Jules Laforgue )
Salvatore Sciarrino (D) Piccola Scala
May 25, 1984 Saturday off light Karlheinz Stockhausen Karlheinz Stockhausen (D) / Luca Ronconi (R) / Gae Aulenti (B)
16 Feb 1985 breath Franco Donatoni Zoltán Peskó (D) / Giorgio Pressburger (R) / Maurizio Balò (B)
Jan 27, 1987 Riccardo III
(Richard III)
Flavio Testi /
(after Shakespeare )
Roberto Abbado (D) / Virginio Puecher (R) / Grossi (B)
July 7, 1987 Il principe felice
(The Happy Prince)
Franco Mannino (1924–2005) /
Maria Stella Sernas
Franco Mannino (D) / Sandro Sequi (R) / Luzzati (B)
May 7, 1988 Monday from light Karlheinz Stockhausen Gabor Ötvös (D) / Michael Bogdanov (R) / Chris Dyer (B)
May 16, 1989 Doctor Faustus Giacomo Manzoni (b. 1932) /
(after Thomas Mann )
Gary Bertini (D) / Robert Wilson (R) / Cristini (B)
May 20, 1990 Blimunda Azio Corghi (born 1937) /
Jose Saramago
Zoltán Peskó (D) / Jérôme Savary (1942–2013) (R) / Lebois (B)
Oct 5, 1996 Outis Luciano Berio /
Dario Del Corno
David Robertson (D) / Graham Vick (R) / Timothy O'Brien (B)
2002 Il processo
(The Process)
Alberto Colla (b. 1968) /
(after Franz Kafka )
Enrique Mazzola (D) / Daniele Abbado (R) / Giovanni Carluccio (B)
Sep 22 2007 Teneke Fabio Vacchi /
Franco Marcoaldi (after Yaşar Kemal )
Roberto Abbado (D) / Ermanno Olmi (R) / Arnaldo Pomodoro (B+K)
Apr 26, 2011 quartet Luca Francesconi /
(after Heiner Müller )
Susanna Malkki (D) / Àlex Ollé (R)
Nov 15, 2018 Fin de partie
György Kurtág /
(after Samuel Beckett )
Markus Stenz (D) / Pierre Audi (R) / Christof Hetzer (B)

See also


  • Giovanna Kessler: Teatro alla Scala. Rembrandt Verlag, Berlin 1963.
  • Wolfgang Kostujak : From musical entertainment in the surveillance state: La Scala in Milan between Risorgimento and Romanticismo. Broadcast for the reopening of the Teatro alla Scala in December 2004, DeutschlandRadio Kultur, December 11, 2004, manuscript (PDF; 168 kB)

web links

Commons : Teatro alla Scala  - Album with pictures, videos and audio files


  1. Duden .
  2. Pereira becomes Scala director in October 2014. In: Daily Gazette . July 18, 2013 .;
  3. ^ "Oil sheikhs undesirable at Milan's Scala" . SWR, March 18, 2019; Retrieved March 19, 2019
  4. The Perfect Plan. Hear well, see well, sit well . In: SZ-Magazine , No. 14/2009, p. 40
  5. Informazioni utili des Teatro alla Scalla : Tutti gli spettacoli iniziano puntuali. Si consiglia di arrivare in Teatro almeno venti minuti prima dell'inizio dello spettacolo. translated: All performances start on time. It is recommended to get to the theater at least 20 minutes before the start.
  6. 238th anniversary of the inauguration of the Teatro Alla Scala. 3 August 2016, retrieved 29 August 2020 .
  7. a b Dominique Meyer becomes the new head of La Scala in Milan. Retrieved June 28, 2019 .
  8. Daniel Barenboim appointed music director of La Scala . Zeit-Online , October 14, 2011; Retrieved October 14, 2011
  9. Scala: Riccardo Chailly becomes new music director. In: DiePresse.com. December 10, 2013, retrieved December 31, 2017 .

Coordinates: 45° 28′ 3″  N , 9° 11′ 22″  E