The Teatro alla Scala
An Italy tour is practically impossible without any reference to its great cultural aura that prevailed for centuries. Besides painting, sculpture and literature Italy is also one of the most accomplished regions in the entire western hemisphere in terms of producing musical geniuses and theatrical prodigies and some of the finest composers and theatrical performances of all time. Teatro Alla Scala, the great heritage opera house of Milan had long been the epicenter of Italy’s musical and theatrical performances of greatest brilliance and quite naturally now is regarded as a must see destination as part of your long cherished Milan tour. This enormous opera house at apart from its imposing reminiscences evokes great respect to its stupendous architecture undoubtedly deserves a day in your itinerary.
Teatro Alla Scala bears the memory of innumerable prodigies and maestros who performed here in the past two hundred years, but back in 1776 when this opera house was built it had been subject of great controversy between Milanese and rulers who commissioned it. Teatro Regio Ducale was the previous opera house almost in the same location that in the same year burned out and as many wealthy Milanese used to hold their private boxes in that opera house, they came together to write to the then Archduke in Austria to commission a provisional theater in the same place. After the first plan was rejected a second plan was accepted by Empress Maria Theresa. The opera house was planned and built in the direction of neoclassical architect Giuseppe Piermarini in place of the erstwhile location of church named Santa Maria Alla scala hence the theater name.
There are many attributes in regard to its construction that made this opera house a jewel among the great heritage architectural wonders of Italian renaissance and consequently a mainstay across the list of favorites for tourists during their holidays in Milan. Earlier as per tradition that prevailed across opera houses there was no seats on the floor and the spectators had to watch the show standing. In the surrounding boxes called Palchi wealthy Milanese used to sit to watch the performance and used to be intricately decorated and laden with comfort. Above the boxes less wealthy and common people could sit in the gallery much in the style of modern stadium which is called Loggione. As you look at the illuminated opera house in full splendor you can readily understand why this was so long a centre of Italy’s musical performance in the high Renaissance. Originally Teatro alla Scala was illuminated by 84 large oil lamps to be rested on the mounting stands called Palcoscenico. Just like other opera houses of that time Teatro alla Scala also used to be a casino besides the theatrical performances.
Important things to know
The best way to experience this massive and sparkling opera house in its enigmatic splendor is to visit it at the Opera Season. A ballet performance or musical orchestra to enjoy sitting at Teatro alla Scala can truly be a lifetime experience. To reach this place there are every feasible transport alternatives including tram, metro, buses or cab services. The theater is located at the south east part of the city and can be reached by metro line 1 or Redline and you can get down either at Cordusio or Duomo station. Boarding tram no 1 or 2 bus line 61 be useful if you want to avoid walking. The admission fee though varies between E5 to E15 in a live performance subsequent tickets for varying comforts to sit with may vary as the tickets are marked with a different pedigree of colors. In any case to watch a symphonic orchestra or ballet or any special performance it may cost E50 to E100 or higher depending on the ticket type and availability.