PIERMARINI, Giuseppe
(b. 1734, Foligno, d. 1808, Foligno)

Interior view

1776-78
Photo
Teatro alla Scala, Milan

In Habsburg-ruled Lombardy, Giuseppe Piermarini was the official architect until the French invasion in 1796. As a pupil of Vanvitelli, he represented the Roman tradition his early works in Milan. His most celebrated building was the Teatro alla Scala, rebuilt in 1776-78.

With 2.800 seats, the splendid auditorium was the largest of its time. The oval ground plan followed the mold-setting court theatre of Turin (1738-40). The boxes, which were fitted out individually by their owners, are distributed over the bottom four tiers, the two galleries above having standing places.

Milan's Teatro alla Scala (Theatre at the Stairway; popularly called La Scala), is one of the great opera houses of the world. Damaged by bombing during World War II, La Scala was quickly reconstructed and reopened with a concert by Arturo Toscanini in 1946. Extensive renovations also took place in the early 21st century.