The Teatro Regio, considered among the melomans one of the most renowned theaters of Italian lyric opera, was born by the will of the Duchess Maria Luigia of Habsburg-Lorena, Napoleon’s wife, sent to support the Duchy of Parma, Piacenza and Guastalla after the Congress of Vienna. Started in 1821 on the project of the court architect Nicola Bettoli, the Theater inaugurated on 16 May 1829 with Zaira, opera by Vincenzo Bellini on a book by Felice Romani. Built in neoclassical style, with a façade characterized by an ionic colonnade, the foyer is accessed to the Foyer Hall, marked by two rows of four columns, on the floor of which are visible the trays from which the heating was spread. A staircase leads to the Sala del Ridotto, where was the royal stage of Maria Luigia, who could access directly from the rooms of the Ducal Palace through an exclusive path. Crossing the Foyer, you enter the elliptical hall, decorated by G. Magnani in 1853, surrounded by four stages and logos. The room is overlooked by the ceiling painted by Giovan Battista Borghesi, in which, circled around the astrolamp, the large bronze chandelier forged by the Lacarrière workshops in Paris. At the top, a “light” clock, which marks five minutes in five, is placed at the center of the prospectus architrave. The painted curtain, one of the few examples that has come to us, is also the work of the Borghesi: a popular allegory of Wisdom, with Minerva assiso in throne surrounded by gods, nymphs, poets and muse shows, in the likeness of the goddess, the portrait by Maria Luigia.


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