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Teatro Donizetti in 360°


Donizetti Theatre is named after the great composer of Bergamo. It is famous for the opera, drama, operetta and ballet seasons, the Festival Bergamo Jazz, concerts of modern singers, symphonic concerts and the prestigious Festival Pianistico Internazionale.

Before 1740, theatre performances were held in temporary wooden structures that were pulled down at the end of the season and rebuilt at the beginning of the following season. In order to establish a permanent building in brickwork, local architect Gian Battista Caniana was commissioned by Bortolo Riccardi to build a new theatre. Riccardi came from a bright-minded, enterprising family from Bergamo that had become rich by producing and trading in silk. He did not even await the building to be finished, Giuseppe Sarti's musical opera Medonte was staged in 1784 in the half-built theatre.

The theatre was modernized and rebuilt several times during the 19th century. In 1868 oil lighting was replaced by gas lighting and new decorations were installed. Only 9 years later in 1877 the reinforced structure and covering of the roof were remade, the flooring of the stalls was renewed and the seats in the stalls were replaced. The opportunity was taken to completely reconstruct the façade, the building of which was supervised by the architect Pietro Via. In 1903 the work was finished with the stucco decoration in the entrance hall and with a mythological scene depicted on the fresco on the ceiling, work of Francesco Domeneghini, a painter from the Val Camonica. At last, apart from small details, the theatre acquired the appearance we know today.

1. Location

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