Teatro del Giglio
Theater in Lucca
Teatro del Giglio, located in the homonymous square just a few meters from Palazzo Ducale in Piazza Napoleone, is one of the oldest public theatres in Italy and a significant cultural landmark in Lucca. This elegant and refined structure, recognized with the Theatre of Tradition award in 1985, can accommodate more than 700 people in its auditorium, boxes, and gallery, offering excellent acoustics and sightlines.
Its origins trace back to the mid-17th century when it was established as a “public theatre” following a decree by the Council of the Republic of Lucca. The name “Teatro del Giglio” honors Marie Louise of Bourbon, the Duchess of Lucca at that time, and features the coat of arms with three golden lilies, symbolizing the Bourbon dynasty. Over the centuries, the theatre underwent various renovations, modifications, and expansions. However, the most significant renovation was carried out between 1817 and 1819, overseen by architect Giovanni Lazzarini and engineer Lorenzo Nottolini.
The Teatro del Giglio achieved its first major success in 1831 with the performance of Gioachino Rossi’s “William Tell,” conducted by the renowned Niccolò Paganini. Throughout the 19th century, the theatre witnessed remarkable performances by esteemed artists of the time, including tenors Nicola Tacchinardi and Gilbert Duprez, and soprano Maria Malibran. The legendary Giacomo Puccini personally managed the staging of several of his operas, notably “Edgar” in 1891. Additionally, the theatre hosted the renowned conductor Arturo Toscanini’s direction of Catalani’s “La Wally” in 1892, and operas directed by Domenico Cortopassi in the early 20th century.
Teatro del Giglio remains an esteemed cultural institution and a significant venue for artistic performances, continuing its tradition of enriching Lucca’s cultural heritage.
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