The Teatro di San Carlo, known simply as Teatro San Carlo, is an opera house in Naples, as well as one of the most famous and prestigious in the world.
It is among the oldest closed opera houses in Europe and in the world still active, having been founded in 1737. It can accommodate 1386 spectators and has a large audience, five orders of boxes arranged in a horseshoe shape plus a large royal stage, a gallery and a stage. Given its size, structure and antiquity, it was a model for subsequent theaters in Europe.
Overlooking the homonymous street and, laterally, on Piazza Trieste and Trento, the theater, in line with the other great architectural works of the period, such as the large Bourbon palaces, was the symbol of a Naples that remarked on its status as a great European capital .
Teatro di San Carlo History
Founded by the will of Charles of Bourbon, built by Giovanni Antonio Medrano and Angelo Carasale for a capacity of 3,000 seats, it was inaugurated on November 4, 1737, precisely on the occasion of the day of the king's name day, from which the theater took its name.
In the early years the artists who performed on the stage were purely those of the Neapolitan school, coming from the conservatories of the city. Meanwhile, the prestige of the San Carlo grew to the point of attracting several illustrious personalities of international fame. Christoph Willibald Gluck's world premiere of Clemenza di Tito was successfully staged in 1752 with Majorano, in 1761 Cato in Utica and in 1762 Alexander in Indie both premieres by Johann Christian Bach, while in the following years there Georg Friedrich Händel, Franz Joseph Haydn and the young Mozart, who appeared among the spectators in 1778, came as guests.
From 1815 to 1822, the musical director of the theater was Gioachino Rossini who at that time lived one of his most important and prolific seasons, succeeded by Gaetano Donizzetti as director, who held the position from 1822 to 1838.
The activity of the theater in the first half of the twentieth century, albeit strongly marked by the two war conflicts that caused, among other things, also various damages to the structure, is affected by the trend that goes crazy on the international music scene. In fact, the great tenors, musicians and conductors have over time taken the place of compositions.
In the first half of the century, based on a design by Michele Platania, a foyer was created on the side that gives to the gardens of the royal palace. Remade after the Second World War (as destroyed during the bombing in 1943), in addition to welcoming spectators during the intervals of the works, it is still used today as a room where small musical or vocal concerts, meetings are held , events or gala dinners.
After the Second World War, the theater was the first in Italy to reopen.
From the second half of the twentieth century there were major renovations and modernization of the plant.