Teatro dell’Opera di Roma

Piazza Beniamino Gigli, 1
00184 Roma RM

In 1879, architect Achille Sfondrini was commissioned by Domenico Costanzi to construct a new theatre. Completed in only eighteen months, the Teatro Costanzi was inaugurated on 27 November 1880 with Semiramide by Rossini, in the presence of King Umberto I and Queen Margherita. Thanks to Costanzi and later to his son Enrico, this theatre saw the world premieres of operas which became benchmarks of the repertoire of opera houses all over the world. Two of the most memorable were Cavalleria rusticana by Mascagni which premiered on 17 may 1890, and Tosca by Puccini which was performed for the first time on 14 January 1900. From 1907, this still privately run theatre was run by the experienced impresario Walter Mocchi who in 1912 entrusted its direction to his wife, the soprano Emilia Carelli. Thus the ‘Impresa Costanzi’ was born which became the source of many novelties, including La fanciulla del West, Turandot and Il Trittico by Puccini, Parsifal by Wagner, Samson et Dalila by Saint-Saëns and the legendary Ballets Russes by Diaghilev. The theatre was not officially recognised until 1926: at the request of Mussolini, the City of Rome purchased the Costanzi theatre and it became known as Teatro Reale dell'Opera. The change brought about renovations effected by the architect Marcello Piacentini. A second inauguration took place on 27 February 1928 with Nerone by Boito. In 1946 with the birth of the Italian Republic, the theatre became officially known as Teatro dell'Opera di Roma and, in 1958, in preparation for the 1960 Olympics, it received further and definitive renovations, again by Marcello Piacentini, who gave the theatre the appearance audiences can still admire today.