The TEATRO MASSIMO VITTORIO EMANUELE is an opera house and opera
company located on the Piazza Verdi in
* 1 Construction and opening * 2 Facilities and recent history * 3 References * 4 External links
CONSTRUCTION AND OPENING
An international competition for the creation of the opera house was
announced by the
The opera house was designed and overseen by the Italian architect
Giovan Battista Filippo Basile , who was well known in
The Rutelli and Machì Company, represented by Giovanni Rutelli and Alberto Machì (both founding members of the company) was contracted for the main construction of the theatre which, under Architect Giovanni Rutelli's technical and building direction, went from the foundations all the way up to the theatre's attic structures. He was also responsible for all the external decorations of the building. Rutelli initially designed a steam tower crane machine which was then successfully able to lift large stone blocks and Greek /Roman styled columns during construction of the very large theatre.
Rutelli belongs to a very old and renowned northern Italian
family of confirmed British Isles origin, a family which also includes
architects and sculptor artists from the old Sicilian classic and
baroque school as well as building contractors, all entrepreneurs
going back to the first half of the 18th century in Palermo. Along
with Architect D. Mario
Rutelli (Giovanni's great-grandfather), they
were considered to be among the most technically and artistically
specialized experts in
Construction started on 12 January 1874, but was stopped for eight
years from 1882 until 1890. Finally, on 16 May 1897, twenty-two years
after the laying of the foundation stone, the third largest opera
Busts of famous composers were carved for the theatre by the Italian sculptor, Giusto Liva (born in Montebelluna, Treviso in 1847) and several of his sons.
FACILITIES AND RECENT HISTORY
Interior view of the
In 1974, the house was closed to complete renovations required by
updated safety regulations, but cost over-runs, corruption, and
political in-fighting all added to the delay and it remained closed
for twenty-three years, finally re-opening on 12 May 1997, four days
before its centenary. The opera season started again in 1999, although
During the restoration regular opera seasons were performed in Teatro Politeama , a minor building not far from Teatro Massimo. In summer a few performances, usually concerts, ballet and operetta, are held in Teatro della Verdura .
In recent years, "charges of corruption and political meddling…along with budget deficits and heavy debts" have plagued the house, but, under its then part-English music director, Jan Latham Koenig , it was reported that it is once again on track.
2013-2014 was a two-year hiatus under the leadership of the
comissario straordinario Fabio Carapezza Guttuso , who brought in
Lorenzo Amato and
Eytan Pessen as artistic advisors. Under Carapezza
Guttuso's leadership the theatre offered a varied programme including
The final scenes of the film The Godfather Part III were filmed at the theatre.
* ^ Thicknesse, Robert, “Double espresso”, Opera Now, July/August 2005. (An article on the Music Director, Jan Latham Koenig) * ^ "Liebesgrüße aus Sizilien". * ^ "Palermo: Francesco Giambrone nominato sovrintendente del Teatro Massimo". * ^ Reeves, Tony. "Filming Locations for Francis Ford Coppola\'s The Godfather Part 3 in New York and Sicily".