The Dal Verme Theater is a historic theater in Milan, a place of culture and entertainment since the second half of the nineteenth century, today the seat of the Lombard Regional Orchestra
Teatro Dal Verme History
In the mid-nineteenth century, in the same area stood the politeama Ciniselli, a sort of circus theater, where Gaetano Ciniselli performed, alternating with prose companies and melodramas. The turnout of the public, of popular extraction, had made the area turbulent and many protests had arisen from the inhabitants of the neighboring residential district. The buildings next to the Politeama were owned by Count Francesco Dal Verme who in 1864, to quell the controversy of his tenants, bought the land and built the homonymous theater. The design of the theater was entrusted by the Dal Verme family to the architect Giuseppe Pestagalli, who devised a theater that would have three thousand seats, the typical horseshoe shape of the opera houses, and two tiers of boxes topped by the huge gallery.
The theater was inaugurated on September 14, 1872, after a year and a half of work, with Giacomo Meyerbeer's Gli Ugonotti. The following December 5 the first of I promessi sposi by Amilcare Ponchielli takes place in the success of the second version with Teresa Brambilla, on April 19, 1873 the third version is staged and on the following October 26 the fourth version. In 1874 there was the premiere of Una vita per lo Zar directed by Franco Faccio and in 1876 of Le val d'Andorre by Fromental Halévy. Ferdinando Fontana in 1881 called it the most beautiful theater in Milan.
Many rising stars of opera debuted at the theater, including Giacomo Puccini with Le Villi in the premiere of 1884 and in the fourth version of 1889 with Michele Mariacher and Ruggero Leoncavallo with Pagliacci in 1892 with Fiorello Giraud, Adelina Stehle, Victor Maurel, Mario Ancona and the direction of Arturo Toscanini.
Also in this theater there was the Italian premiere of Franz Lehár's The Merry Widow, on April 27, 1907. The performances of Filippo Tommaso Marinetti's Futurist Theater also found their home here. The young Arturo Toscanini and Pietro Mascagni performed their first public performances in this theater. On December 18, 1925 there was the successful first world of Cin Ci La.
The theater was severely damaged by the US bombing in 1943 and restored in 1946 no longer as an opera house but as a cinema. In 1981 the Municipality of Milan acquired the property and it was only in the late 90s that a renovation was started to use it as a concert hall. It was inaugurated in 2001. The new structure consists of a 1500-seat hall, a smaller 200-seat hall and an environment for exhibitions and conferences. The Dal Verme Theater is now home to the Afternoon Music and Cultural Routes Foundation and offers a varied panorama of classical, symphonic and jazz music.