Milan's La Scala is one of the most important opera houses in the world. It's a sumptuous palace of music where lavish productions of everything from A Midsummer's Night Dream to La Boheme can be enjoyed with your La Scala tickets from StubHub.
La Scala - an operatic background
La Scala is the shortened form of the theatre's official name, Teatro alla Scala. Inaugurated in August 1778 by Empress Maria Teresa of Austria the new opera house was originally called the Nuovo Regio Ducale Teatro alla Scala as it had replaced the Royal Ducal Theatre destroyed by fire two years earlier. After the fire, ninety wealthy box owners at the theatre petitioned Archduke Ferdinand for the new theatre which was designed by Giuseppe Piermarini.
The new La Scala took two years to build on the site of a former church, Santa Maria alla Scala from which the theatre takes its name. The new design featured Italy's largest stage along with over 3,000 seats topped by tiers of boxes. With no seats on the main floor dedicated audiences had to watch lengthy operas on their feet. At this time the orchestra was in full view as the present orchestra pit wasn't added until later. La Scala was renovated in 1907 when the number of seats was reduced to less than 2,000 and again after suffering bomb damage in World War II.
La Scala - where audiences know their opera
Above the boxes was the loggione, where the less wealthy or loggionisti could enjoy the opera. This audience became known for its critical reception which could either be enthusiastic or merciless, a tradition which carries on today. As recently as 2006, tenor Roberto Alagna was forced by the loggionisti's jeers to leave the stage mid-scene during a performance of Aida. This summary eviction led to him being replaced by an understudy who didn't even have time to don his costume.
The building costs of the new La Scala were met by sales of palchi or boxes. These were then lavishly decorated to impress by their owners. In fact, La Scala became the premier meeting place for the rich and noble of Milan. They dressed to be seen when attending productions while the programme for the new season which traditionally started on Saint Ambrose's Day, 7th December was eagerly awaited each year. When you attend the opera house with your La Scala tickets from StubHub make sure to take in its stunning crystal chandelier and luxurious foyer before enjoying a glass of chilled champagne in the lounge bar.