La Scala Season Opening in Milan
Milan's Teatro alla Scala or just La Scala as it is often referred to as, is one of the world's most famous theaters. For over two hundred years, thespians from around the world have performed within its walls. Some of the nineteenth-century's most famous productions debuted here: Norma by Bellini, Othello and Falstaff by Verdi, Gioconda by Ponchielli, Mefistofele by Boito and Turandot by Puccini.
Theater season traditionally starts on 7 December, day of the patron saint of Milan Saint Ambrose. The first opening that happened on this day was around 1940. Ever since 1951 it has become the standard date. On 7 December of that year, Maria Callas achieved her first great triumph in Milan by singing I vespri siciliani, directed by De Sabata.
The first night at the Scala is a unique event that always been frequented by the highest representatives of Italian Government and country's cultural and business elite. An urban event that is nowadays deeply rooted in Milanese life.
The entire city takes part in the opening and it is broadcast live in numerous movie theaters and other venues in Milan.
Over recent years, a maxi screen has been installed in the Octagon of Vittorio Emanuele II Gallery, one of the busiests, most elegant the city, referred to as Milan's living room.