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Five curiosities you may not know about alla Scala theater, one of Milan's symbols

The Nuovo Regio Ducal Teatro alla Scala, simply known as the Scala Theatre, colloquially referred to as La Scala, is the main opera house in Milan. Considered one of the most prestigious theatres in the world, it has been hosting leading artists in the international field of opera, ballet and classical music for 245 years.

Opened in 1778, over the years the theatre has become one of the symbols of the city of Milan, in which the most important artists in the history of dance and classical music have performed. Every year, the beginning of the performance season alla Scala attracts all the high society of Milan and beyond.

Passing through the centre of Milan, every tourist passes by to have at least a look at this beautiful building, which also holds secrets and curiosities that not everyone knows.

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Five things you might not know about alla Scala theater
The Nuovo Regio Ducal Teatro alla Scala, simply known as the Scala Theatre, colloquially referred to as la Scala, is the main opera house in Milan. Considered one of the most prestigious theatres in the world, it has been hosting leading artists in the international field of opera, ballet and classical music for 245 years. Opened in 1778, over the years the theatre has become one of the symbols of the city of Milan, in which the most important artists in the history of dance and classical music have performed. Every year, the beginning of the performance season alla Scala attracts all the high society of Milan and beyond. Passing through the centre of Milan, every tourist passes by to have at least a look at this beautiful building, which also holds secrets and curiosities that not everyone knows.
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Why it's called Teatro Alla Scala
The building, designed by Giuseppe Piermarini and inaugurated in 1778 with the opera L'Europa riconosciuta composed for the occasion by Antonio Salieri, was built following the destruction of the Ducal Theatre by fire in 1776. The dilapidated church of Santa Maria della Scala, from which the theatre takes its name, was also demolished to make way for the building.
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A "haunted" theater
There are legends circulating around the alla Scala theatre, according to which the building is home to the ghost of Maria Malibran, the famous 19th-century soprano who died young. Others, however, have 'seen' here the spirit of Maria Callas.
Di Jean-Christophe BENOIST - Opera propria, CC BY 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?cur
The arrival of electric light
Few people perhaps know that alla Scala was the first theatre in the world to use lighting produced by electricity. On Boxing Day 1883, on the occasion of the 'premiere' of Ponchielli's 'Gioconda', 2450 electric bulbs were in fact switched on by the Edison power station in Santa Radegonda.
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The boxes belonged to the families
The box was owned by the individual families, who in some way contributed to and subsidised the theatre. Consequently, each family could decorate it as it wished. In fact, the more lavishly it was adorned, the more it showed the splendour and status of the family in question. Only the curtain, facing the stalls, had to be strictly uniform.
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Alla Scala, once upon a time, people also gambled
In the early 19th century, gambling was practised alla Scala in Milan before and after performances. The 700 chairs in the stalls could in fact be removed and made way for a free space in which to play. It is said that Alessandro Manzoni himself lost his head over a particular card game in vogue among the bourgeois/aristocratic class that frequented la Scala.
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