The deafening applause and clapping break the magic of silence. On the theatre stage, it is said that every man becomes immortal. Sicily is full of these places suspended between reality and enchantment. Raise the curtain! Let’s discover together the most important Sicilian modern theatres. They are ready to welcome you with a schedule full of events.
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Vittorio Emanuele theatre (Messina)
The oldest and the biggest of the 19th-century theatres in Sicily is between Via Garibaldi and Corso Cavour in Messina. Its construction was strongly encouraged by Ferdinand II of Bourbon to please the Peloritan elite. Pietro Valente designed the project in Neoclassical style, and the theatre officially opened in 1852. Today, Teatro Vittorio Emanuele has a rich programme of prose and music shows performed by some of the most world famous companies and artists.
Teatro Stabile (Catania)
The history of Catania’s Teatro Stabile began in an old garage in Via Umberto. The theatre is one of the most important cultural centres on the island. It opened in 1958 and today is worldwide known. It has Mediterranean characteristics, is strongly related to the Sicilian theatre tradition and constantly innovates its artistic expressions. One of the missions of the theatre with political and social issues is to bring art closer to the general public. The Teatro Stabile is nowadays a reference for actors and directors of international fame; among the activities promoted is the Umberto Spadaro School of Dramatic Art.
Vincenzo Bellini Massimo Theatre (Catania)
It is said that Catania’s Teatro Massimo Vincenzo Bellini has the best acoustics in the world. The most famous artists of the 19th century performed here, and the best musicals have been played. Today the theatre is the centre of Catania’s musical scene. It has an 80-piece orchestra and a 57-piece chorus.
Politeama Garibaldi Theatre (Palermo)
The Politeama Garibaldi Theatre in Palermo was designed by architect Giuseppe Damiani Almejda. It stands in one of the city’s most lively squares, which the locals call ‘Piazza Politeama’. Today, the theatre is home to the Fondazione Orchestra Sinfonica Siciliana, a renowned cultural music institution and one of the major symphony orchestras in Italy.
Massimo Theatre (Palermo)
In the Teatro Massimo, both national and international operas are performed. The Politeama theatre was built to entertain the “people”, while the Teatro Massimo was where the middle class and nobility could enjoy their time. The architect Giovan Battista Basile designed the theatre: it is the largest opera house in Italy and the third-largest in Europe after the Opéra National in Paris and the Staatsoper in Vienna.
Pirandello Theatre (Agrigento)
Girgenti dedicated the “Regina Margherita” Theatre to Queen Margherita, who visited in 1881 together with King Umberto I. Since 1946 the theatre has been named after the famous author Luigi Pirandello. The history of the Pirandello Theatre is troubled but with a happy ending. It was reopened in 1995 with a performance of Pirandello’s opera “Il berretto a sonagli“. Since then, artistic performances and theatre seasons have been performed with great success.
Garibaldi Theatre (Enna)
The Garibaldi Municipal Theatre offers a rich and varied programme of performances, including drama, music, dance and classical music, shows for young people and cultural events. The theatre has a very graceful structure. It was officially inaugurated in 1872 and was incorporated into the existing 18th-century Palazzo Senatorio. The Palace was later called Casa Comunale or Town Hall.
Regina Margherita Theatre (Caltanissetta)
The Nisseno Theatre overlooks the central Piazza Garibaldi, and it is part of the Palazzo del Carmine, where you can see the town hall. The Margherita Theatre has a 19th-century neoclassical style. Thanks to a synergy between public and private, it offers a wide range of performances to satisfy a wide and diverse audience.
City Theatre (Siracusa)
The Municipal Theatre of Syracuse is a magnificent and imposing structure located on the island of Ortigia. The difficulties related to its construction and opening, and some unfortunate events, have inspired many legends. The theatre offers art exhibitions and is worth a visit.
Tina di Lorenzo Theatre (Noto)
When it was officially opened, the Municipal Theatre of Noto was named after King Vittorio Emanuele III. Since then, world-famous artists such as Tina di Lorenzo, Pierantonio Tasca and Eleanore Duse have performed on its stage. Year after year, the “Tina di Lorenzo” Theatre Foundation of Noto guarantees high-quality performances, both theatrical and cultural .
Your journey to discover the most suggestive Sicilian stages continues. Discover the Ancient Theatres in Sicily.