The Teatro di San Carlo is an opera house in Naples, Italy, the oldest still active in Europe and it is recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage site. The theatre designed by the architects Giovanni Antonio Medrano and Angelo Carasale for the Bourbon monarch Charles III of Naples (Carlo III in Italian). Charles wanted to endow Naples with a new and larger theatre to replace the old and dilapidated Teatro San Bartolomeo of 1621.
The theatre was inaugurated on the 4 November 1737 — the king’s name day — with a performance of Domenico Sarro’s Achille in Sciro, an opera based on the play by the famous poet and dramatist who went by the name of Metastasio. Sarro also conducted the orchestra in two ballets as intermezzi, created by Grossatesta. At the time, it was the largest opera house in the world, seating 3,300.
The new theatre was much admired for its architecture, its gold decorations, and the sumptuous blue upholstery (blue and gold being the official colours of the Bourbons).
Inaugurated in 1737 with a performance of Domenico Sarro's Achille in Sciro, Teatro San Carlo is the world's oldest surviving opera house. It was commissioned by King Carlo III di Borbone and designed by the architect, Giovanni Medrano, and for a while became the most prestigious opera house in Europe. The theatre was remodelled in 1816 by the architect Antonio Niccolini after a fire damaged its interior. Teatro San Carlo is located opposite Galleria Umberto I and next to Palazzo Reale.
This is Europe's oldest opera house. We did not go in so I don't have much to share about what it has to offer, but it was exciting to actually see it and admire the architecture. You can pay to have a guided visit, but we were limited on time.
If you cannot see a performance here a guided tour of the building can be arranged, just call and ask.
One of the oldest theatres in existence it dates from 1737. You will be shown the auditorium and go into one of the any boxes from where people watching was as popular as the performances.
We were lucky as a 'White Voice', that is juvenile, choir was practicing as we toured accompanied by our young language student guide.
Teatro San Carlo is situated on the Piazza Pleblicito which is a beautiful Piazza in the heart of Naples. It's located close to the bay and also includes the Royal Palace. we walked here from the harbour and it was an easy walk
Naples regained a measure of independence in 1734 when Prince Charles of Spain - the 2nd son of King Philip V - was made King, and local self-government returned to southern Italy after centuries of Habsburg rule. The new King Charles set about restoring pride and dignity to his capital, and one of his first measures was to commission the construction of this grand opera house, bearing the name of his patron saint San Carlo. The opera house quickly became a symbol of civic pride and confidence, a role that it continues to serve for Naples some 260 years later.
The original San Carlo was destroyed in an 1816 fire, and was reconstructed in remarkably little time. The exterior may be rather modest and neoclassical, but the interior design is rich and red and glorious.
The San Carlo was built by King Charles of Bourbon who wished to endow his capital city with a theatre to take the place of the old and crumbling San Bartolomeo which belonged to the Casa degli Incurabili. On the 4th November 1737 - the king's nameday - the San Carlo was inaugurated.
Unfortunately we didn't visit it inside (there are guided tours - 5€), but even from outside it's very nice.