For more than 160 years, Verdi has been the biggest Italian-style theatre in Tuscany (at the time of its construction, it was among the seven largest in Italy). In all these years it has kept intact its main features, mainly of being a great popular theatre in the city center, open to all kinds of shows.
Born as Teatro Pagliano, it was inaugurated on September 10, 1854 with the notes of Verdi’s opera Il Viscardello, which later would become Rigoletto. The new theatre, which took the place of a multipurpose facility (circus, music hall, outdoor amphitheater) built on the remains of the fourteenth century Stinche prison, is due to entrepreneur pharmacist and former baritone Girolamo Pagliano (Italian text).
The years following the debut were characterized by the great season of melodrama of the late nineteenth century and its charismatic protagonists. Here took place patriotic and humanitarian events and the first memorable stage productions with great performers. Then, it changed ownership continuously from one owner to another and became Teatro Verdi in 1901. After World War I, it opened to popular operetta, and with the Castellani ownership, the greatest actors of the twentieth century arrived.
With the fabulous 60s, the theater hosts international pop stars and celebrities of the popular theatre and the revue. Here come the shows of the Maggio Musicale Fiorentino, the film festivals, the ballets, the most wanted artists of rock, pop and jazz music, and the unconventional prose.
In January 1998, the theater goes to the Foundation ORT, thus becoming the headquarters of rehearsals and concerts of the Orchestra della Toscana. It maintains at the same time the unique diversity of theatrical proposals, the image of an open cultural space and lively programming, while being attentive to the needs of its large audience.
With the arrival of the Orchestra della Toscana, Teatro Verdi steadily welcomes classical music with great conductors and world-renowned musicians. Thanks to the company Antico Teatro Pagliano, which looks after the theater season, and PRG, which organizes the pop and rock music, Verdi still offers a very articulate programming for quality, genres and many propositions.
Property: Fondazione ORT
Address: via Ghibellina 99 | 50122 | Firenze
Coordinates: 43°46’13.1″N 11°15’40.3″E
Artist’s entrance and loading/unloading entrance: via Isola delle Stinche
Office: Via Giuseppe Verdi, 5
Characteristics: italian style theatre with stalls, gallery (former royal box) and six tiers of boxes
Number of seats: 1.566 from which 808 in the audience, 129 in the gallery and 629 in the six orders of stages
Official plant is available for download here (italian text).
On Wikipedia is available in-depth biographical information. The Teatro Verdi has been written a book rich in news and images (italian text). Published by Giunti can be purchased at the theater to the special price of €15,00. Online on Amazon and Feltrinelli.