Date : 2016 December 19th
Starting from 1830 the idea of building a new theater was born to replace the now cramped Teatro dei Ravvivati.
This idea, however, took shape only in 1864, when a promoter council met to create a company for the new theater. The old theater was by now inadequate and a new one was needed to give prestige to the city and to showcase the new emerging ruling class. The model was the Teatro della Pergola in Florence, formerly the Grand Ducal theater. In a pamphlet, the promoting council set the criteria to be followed for size, expense and location.
The designer's choice was not easy. The architects Telemaco Buonajuti, Giuseppe Cappellini, Mariano Falcini and Andrea Scala were contacted, while Vincenzo Micheli proposed himself independently. On July 7, 1864, a competition was held and Scala, Micheli and Falcini were chosen, but their designation was revoked on July 19. In the second half of September the two projects arrived and were examined by a commission which also included the municipal engineer Pietro Bellini.
At the end of its work, the commission, while giving preference to Micheli, found both projects unsatisfactory. On 6 November the architects were invited to resubmit the projects with the changes requested by the commission. The new drawings arrived on January 20, 1865. It should be noted that Scala argued about this decision, so much so that, together with the new project, he also sent the first one that he considered most interesting from an architectural point of view. Based on a new revision of the projects, on February 26, 1865 the general meeting of shareholders appointed Andrea Scala as architect of the theater, approving his second project.
On April 26, 1865, construction of the theater began.
3621 pine poles were used to support the foundations (see above the Scala drawing with the details of the foundations). In July of the same year, the roofing was completed.
But the Scala was exempted and the internal completion works were entrusted to the architect Giuseppe Giardi while Simonelli designed the self-supporting dome that dominates the stalls.
All the internal decoration works were entrusted to Pisan workers. On 17 October 1866 Annibale Gatti presented the sketch of the Triumph of Love, the fresco for the ceiling of the ballroom. On 2 August 1867 he was entrusted with the task of painting the "bedside table", that is, the curtain used during the change of act. The large curtain depicting Goldoni reading at the Alfea colony was painted on the stage of the Ravvivati theater.
The Regio Teatro Nuovo was inaugurated on the evening of November 12, 1867 with the opera Guglielmo Tell by Rossini.