The sferisterio of Macerata
«As an embellishment for the city, as a pleasure for the audience. The generosity of a hundred consorts has built it. MDCCCXXIX»
The Sferisterio theatre of Macerata is one of the most expressive works of the European Neoclassicism. It was conceived for the “Pallone col Bracciale” game, an ancient Italian national sport which was very popular in the second half of the XIX century. Over the time it also hosted various public spectacles such as feast celebrations, horse parades, political and sports events, horse circuses and even bull fights.
The large arena is delimited by two rectilinear entrances joined up in a wide curve, and in the straight majestic back wall which is 18 meters high and 90 meters long. 56 Doric columns run over the royal box, they support the boxes and end with an elegant stone balcony which constitutes an element of closure to the framework. The harmonious structure guarantees a perfect visibility and an incomparable acoustics.
In the XX century people started thinking that its space, its inner harmony between the colonnade, the high rectilinear wall and the large central open area could represent the perfect frame for performances of Lyric Opera. In 1921 Giuseppe Verdi’s Aida was the first opera performed in the Sferisterio. It was repeated for 17 soirees, and was seen by 70 thousand people.
Today the Sferisterio is the jewel in the crown of Macerata. It is an Open Air theatre characterized by a spectacular atmosphere - particularly during the summer evenings of the Opera Festival - which allows the audience to feel unique emotions and to enjoy the Opera with the best acoustics in Italy, under a sky full of stars. Its stage has hosted artists famous all over the world, such as Mario Del Monaco, Luciano Pavarotti, Katia Ricciarelli, Renato Bruson, Montserrat Caballé, and Placido Domingo. Staging such as the renowned “Traviata of the Mirrors” by the maestro Josef Svoboda in 1992, and the unforgettable “La Bohème” by Ken Russel in 1984, have come down in history.
Lauro Rossi Theatre
In 1746 forty-seven nobles of Macerata supported the creation of a new city theatre in the place that was first occupied by the old City Hall, which already included a “Comedy Room”. The task was entrusted to the greatest architect of that period, Antonio Galli, also called the Bibiena. Later on his project was readjusted by the architect Cosimo Morelli, who also directed the construction works.
The theatre was inaugurated in 1774 and in 1884 was named after the musician from Macerata, Lauro Rossi (1810-1885). Its characteristic bell shape, with its interior divided in three orders of boxes in addition to the gallery, make the structure one of the first examples of the “Italian Style Theatre”. A precise restoration has brought the elegant inner space - with its three orders of boxes - back to its original features. Plasters, polychromous faux marble in shades of silver-blue, green and gold make the Lauro Rossi Theatre a unique jewel of the Italian 19th century art.
Classic works and contemporary dramas, performers loved by audience and critics, masters of the scene and dance animate the 2016/2017 season of the Lauro Rossi Theatre, supported by the City of Macerata and by the AMAT. This season has been created with the contribution of the Marche Region and the Ministry for Cultural Heritage and Activities.