The Verdi Theatre
The Verdi Theater developed in the same area of the eighteenth-century Teatro Nuovo and it was built thanks to the specifically created «Nobile Società del Teatro Nuovo» (Aristocrat Society of Teatro Nuovo) formed by approximately 70 of the most illustrious citizens.
Opened for the first time in 1751 as a lyric theater, after 20 years it started to be used also for prose performances.
As it was quite common for lots of theaters and historical buildings of those times, the Teatro Nuovo was also continually restored, not only because of the perish materials used before but also to make floors and ceilings safe and change the original structure in order to meet new specific needs and requirements, such as “new theatrical rules” or the mutate decorative taste.
After approximately one century from its construction, the theater was almost completely renovated (the external façade, the new lead-coated dome, the stage, the vault painted by Pietro Paoletti, the changing rooms) following the project by Giuseppe Jappelli: the theater was reopened in June 1847 with a new gas lighting system (the second one in Veneto, after La Fenice Theater).
A new restoration was considered necessary during the ’80s of the XIX century; the architect Sfondrini, who was responsible for the repairs, maintained the façade designed by Jappelli, while the dome was reinforced and on its top a lamp made of iron and crystal was placed. Furthermore, the internal part of the vault was painted by Giacomo della Casa and changes were made to the hall, the entrance and the foyer of the first floor, in order to give the theater the current characteristics. This was also the time for renaming the theater and dedicating it to the master Giuseppe Verdi who was delighted and thanked for receiving this honor but did not participate to the opening ceremony on the 8th of June, 1884.
The historical theater was heavily damaged by bombing during the First World War; after repairs of the hall and the dome (which is now painted by Giuliano Tommasi), at the end of 1920 the Verdi Theater was able to start its activity again and the king Vittorio Emanuele III took part to the reopening ceremony. During the Second World War the productions and scheduling were reduced and after the war the theater became a property of the municipality, which has been responsible for repairs and renovations from the ’50s.
Nowadays, 250 years from its construction, the Verdi Theater, which is located in the city center of Padua, keeps on being breath-taking with its architecture for all citizens and people passing by and the recently pedestrianized zone in front of the façade has further underlined its great beauty.
With more than 700 seats in the parterre, 3 different orders of loges, the gallery and its important main stage with wooden timber frame, the Verdi Theater offers the prose season organized by the Teatro Stabile del Veneto and, following the tradition and the history of the city and of the Veneto Region, it presents operatic performances, concerts, ballets, shows for the young people.