The Regio Theatre, which was already a superb example of Italian theatre in the eighteenth century, is one of the most important theatres in Europe.
Devastated by a fire in 1936, it was rebuilt in a modern style after the Second World War, inaugurated in 1973 based on a design by the architect Carlo Mollino.

The opera music that floats out beyond the bronze gate created by Umberto Mastroianni attracts the attention of passers-by in Piazza Castello, indicating that you are in front of the Teatro Regio (the Theatre Royal), one of the most important stages in Europe. Similar to many sites related to the House of Savoy, the history of the Teatro Regio is made up of avant-garde projects, destructions and rebirths.
An old theatre already existed in Palazzo Ducale, but King Vittorio Amedeo II commissioned a new one from the first court architect Filippo Juvarra in his plan to reorganise the city. The project was taken over by his successor, Benedetto Alfieri, following his untimely death. Alfieri’s project was so innovative that it was included in the Encyclopédie by Denis Diderot and Jean-Baptiste Le Rond d’Alembert as a superb example of an Italian-style theatre: the five tiers of boxes, the stalls and the gallery could seat up to 2,500 people and the room was richly decorated with paintings, carvings and gilded stuccoes. Inaugurated in record time on 26 December 1740, the theatre was immediately hailed as “one of the most magnificent and the largest there is in Italy” (Charles de Brosses).
It was refurbished several times during the 19th century, first in a neoclassical guise by Pelagio Palagi and Ernest Melano and then in neo-baroque style by Angelo Moja, and hosted grand international premieres, such as Giacomo Puccini’s La bohéme in 1896.
All this went up in smoke in 1936. The 18th-century theatre was destroyed by fire and today its former structure can only be seen in prints and paintings of the time, such as Interno del Teatro Regio by Giovanni Michele Graneri (1752) in the nearby Museo Civico d’Arte Antica in Turin.
After several interrupted attempts at reconstruction due to the war, a masterpiece by Carlo Mollino, who rebuilt the theatre opting for a distinctly modern look, rose up from the ashes of the 18th-century building in 1965. If the exterior evoked the site’s Baroque origin, using curved walls clad in star-shaped bricks (a tribute to the nearby Palazzo Carignano), the theatre’s interior was characterised by the modernity of the oyster-shaped stalls, the proscenium inspired by television screens and the striking “stalactite” chandelier.

Informations Castello, 215, 10124 Torino (TO)
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