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Theatre La Fenice in Venice

La Fenice
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Born on a project by Gian Antonio Selva (1790) and commissioned by a theatrical company that before had been playing in the theater of St. Benedict burnt in 1774, Teathre La Fenice was quickly built and opened May 16, 1792 with the representation of the Giochi di Agrigento by Giovanni Paisiello. It derives its name from the theatrical company that wanted its costruction here in Campo San Fantin.

The following century a fire struck the theater destroying it on December 13, 1836 but thanks to the skill of brothers Tommaso and Giambattista Meduna La Fenice was rebuilt the same.

The nineteenth century saw the theater world player for what concerns the lyric dramas hosting numerous premieres by Gioachino Rossini (Tancredi, 1813; Semiramis, 1823), Vincenzo Bellini (I Capuleti ei Montecchi, 1830, Beatrice di Tenda, 1833) and Giuseppe Verdi (Ernani, 1843, Attila, 1846; Rigoletto, 1851, La Traviata, 1853; Simon Boccanegra, 1857).

The First World War caused the closure of the Teatro La Fenice but at the end of the conflict the opening was marked by a strong attendance of the best singing talents and the best conductors existing at the time.

In 1930 the Venice Biennale opened the First International Festival of Contemporary Music in the lagoon that led to work with the fenice artists such as Stravinsky, Britten, Berio, Nono and Bussotti.

In 1936 the architect Miozzo, already designer of the Scalzi bridge near the station and a significant alteration of the Accademia Bridge, undertook a restoration of the theater.

On January 29, 1996 a fire attributed to an electrician (to whom we do not give the pleasure to be mentioned) who wanted to avoid contractual penalties completely destroyed the interior and the roof of the Fenice causing commotion among the population and worldwide. In eight years, the theater was restored to its previous state thanks to the work of the best craftsmen available by that time for a cost of about 70 million.

Interno Fenice 1837
Il teatro La Fenice nel 1837, senza i posti a sedere.
On December 14, 2003 Teatro La Fenice was inaugurated by the Italian President Carlo Azeglio Ciampi with a concert conducted by Riccardo Muti.

The restoration of course gave rise to much controversy between traditionalists and modernists who asked for daring and abandoning the past for a modern building respecting our age. Needless to say they lost.

Since 2004 the Fenice annually hosts the New Year Concert in competition with the more traditional Wien's concert.

Web Site: Fenice Theatre


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