The Ansaldo Workshops – the Teatro alla Scala workshops– are located in the former industrial settlement of the Ansaldo steel plants in Milan.
The Workshops of the Teatro alla Scala are housed in a huge 20,000-square-metre facility, divided into three pavilions dedicated to the director Luchino Visconti, the stage designer Nicola Benois and the costume designer Luigi Sapelli – (aka Caramba) – where most of the handmade works for the production are made: set design, sculpture, thermoforming, carpentry works, mechanics workshop, set assembly, costume workshop, costume design, laundry.
This space can hold more than 60,000 stage costumes, and includes practice rooms for the chorus and a stage area for rehearsals, which perfectly corresponds to the Piermarini stage.
This heritage exists thanks to the daily work of more than 150 workers including joiners, blacksmiths, carpenters, set designers, scenography technicians, sculptors, dressmakers and costume designers who create the entire production from a simple sketch.
In an attempt to share this world of values, La Scala has decided to open the Ansaldo Workshops to the public through a programme of guided tours that take visitors on a journey through the backstage of the Teatro alla Scala to witness the birth of a show at first hand.
The service is available on request and is managed by specialised guides in collaboration with the department heads of workshops. The route passes through all the Pavilions ending in Pavilion 36 where, from time to time, concerts, conferences and exhibitions are held.