Teatro della Concordia
Teatro della Concordia: a small 18th-century pearl near Perugia
Miniature jewel of art, indeed the smallest in the world with 99 seats between boxes and stalls: the Teatro della Concordia rises from the heart of Montecastello di Vibio, in the province of Perugia, not far from Todi, in a town that stands out on the right side of the Tiber Valley. Its name is not accidental and, in the 19th century, the time of its construction, it was intended to draw attention to the ideals of the French Revolution: liberty, equality and fraternity.
Did you know that...
There are even smaller theatres around the world. One example is the little theatre in the castle of Valvasone (PN). The Concordia theatre, however, is the oldest of those still in operation, unique architectural testimony of the 18th century Italian theatre in Goldonian style.
Goldoni imposed strict rules for the construction of the ideal theatre, like using wood as the only element for the boxes and the bell-shaped floor plan for adequate acoustics. In fact, it is the smallest active historical theatre in the world. The Società del Teatro della Concordia, set up to manage the building, is now committed to keeping it open, offering performances and guided tours to the public.
The story of this little wonder
In the midst of the Napoleonic period, a group of nine illustrious local families set out to bring art to all, without sacrificing the best architectural details and the great artists of the time. Thus, the interior of the Teatro della Concordia in Montecastello di Vibio is particularly precious, enriched by frescoes decorating the boxes and vaulted ceiling: all by Cesare Agretti and his 15-year-old son Luigi. The latter made his mark with his paintings.
Celebrities and curiosities
The Teatro della Concordia has hosted great artists throughout its history.
Think of the young soprano Antonietta Stella from Todi, who performed here in 1929, remembered as one of the best interpreters of Verdi's repertoire. Gina Lollobrigida, who made her debut as a young actress here in 1945 in Santarellina, by playwright Eduardo Scarpetta.
The Teatro della Concordia, past to present
In 1951, the hall was closed. A few years later the roof collapsed. The inhabitants of the area considered the theatre too important to lose it and thought of self-taxing in order to finance the restoration work, then completed by the Region, thanks to EU funds. In 1993, the restoration was completed and today the theatre is also used for conferences, meetings and civil weddings.
From the smallest to the largest
In 1997, the smallest theatre in the world twinned with the largest theatre in the world, the Teatro Farnese in Parma, seating approximately 3,000.
For more information, the reference website is: www.teatropiccolo.it.