Giuseppe Verdi Opera House

The Teatro Lirico Giuseppe Verdi is an opera house located in Trieste, Italy and named after the composer Giuseppe Verdi. Privately constructed, it was inaugurated as theTeatro Nuovo to replace the smaller 800-seat “Cesareo Regio Teatro di San Pietro” on 21 April 1801 with a performance of Johann Simon Mayr’s Ginevra di Scozia. Initially, the Nuovo had 1,400 seats.

In 1821, it became known as the Teatro Grande. By the end of the 18th century, the need for a new theatre in Trieste became evident. Its main theatre, the Teatro di San Pietro, had become increasingly inadequate and finally closed its doors in 1800. A proposal to the Austrian Chancery from Giovanni Matteo Tommasini to build a private theatre had existed since 1795 and, in June 1798, a contract was drawn up whereby annual funding would come from the municipality and Tommasini would hold the rights to several boxes and the rights to sell others. Gian Antonio Selva, the architect of the La Fenice in Venice, was engaged, and he designed a classic horseshoe-shaped auditorium. However, his exterior designs were considered to be too plain for the Austrians who then engaged another architect, Matteo Pertsch, to solve the problem, which was accomplished by incorporating elements of Milan’s La Scala opera house. The “Nuovo” became a mixture of La Fenice on the inside and La Scala on the exterior.

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