La Scala: the home of Europe's greatest talent
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Teatro alla Scala

General information

The Teatro alla Scala was built as a replacement of the old Teatro Ducale in 1776 by order of the empress Maria Theresa of Austria, and was inaugurated in 1778 with Antonio Salieri’s Europa riconosciuta. It owes its name to the place where it was built by the neoclassical architect Giuseppe Piermarini: the church of Santa Maria alla Scala.

Assigned place to melodrama, world famous artists performed at the Scala such as Rossini, Donizetti, Bellini and Verdi.

The theatre was rebuilt after the bombing in 1943 and inaugurated a second time in 1946 with a concert conducted by artist director Arturo Toscanini.

Since 1951, as for artistic director Victor De Sabata’s wish, the opening night takes place on the 7th of December,  the feast of St Ambrose, patron saint of Milan. This helps to give extra symbolic meaning to the première.  

Famous opera singers such as Maria Callas, Renata Tebaldi, Giulietta Simionato, Mirella Freni, Mario Del Monaco, Giuseppe Di Stefano, Luciano Pavarotti, Placido Domingo; film directors Luchino Visconti, Franco Zeffirelli, Luca Ronconi; well-known choreographers and dancers Leonide Massine, George Balanchine, Rudolf Nureyev, Carla Fracci, Luciana Savignano among others performed at the Scala.

With this musical offering and thanks to the rebuilding and modernisation of the scenic machinery undertaken between 2002 and 2004, La Scala is on a level with the greatest theatres of Europe and the world since the end of WWII.

On the 7th of December 2004 Riccardo Muti inaugurated the restored theatre playing Europa Riconosciuta by Salieri, as for the very first premiere in 1778.

Anecdotes and curiosities

La Scala was called the Teatro Grande (Grand Theatre); on the contrary its smaller partner theatre was called the Teatro Piccolo (Little Theatre) or the Canobbiana (at that time the Teatro Lirico Internazionale). Since 1951, in accordance with the wishes of Victor De Sabata, artistic director at the time, La Scala opens its season on December 7th, the feast of S. Ambrogio, patron saint of Milan,

Useful details

It can be reached by M1/M3 Duomo stop.


Guided tours of the theatre can be booked in advance. 


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      • Ticket information

        The cost of the ticket varies depending on the seat and the show

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