Opera, ballet and theatrical performances in Novara
Teatro Coccia was opened on December 22, 1888, with the opera The Huguenots by Giacomo Meyerbeer, directed by the man who was to become the most famous conductor of the 20th century, Arturo Toscanini. The theater is much larger and more capacious than the one it replaced, Teatro Nuovo, which had become inadequate for the new genre of shows increasingly in vogue at the end of the 19th century. The new complex occupies an area four times larger than the previous one and today you can still admire the size of the large horseshoe-shaped hall surrounded by three tiers of ample seats. In 1932 an article appeared in the newspaper, Il Corriere della Sera, defining the Teatro Coccia as the foyer to La Scala due to many of the great artists on the world opera scene having debuted on the Novara stage. The 1940s saw Novara-born Guido Cantelli take to the stage in Teatro Coccia for the first time and in 1967, Riccardo Muti won the "Cantelli Prize" competition for young conductors there.
In addition to the usual opera seasons, Teatro Coccia hosts courses and educational activities for schools, as well as advanced training courses and masterclasses for the Accademia-Amo and the Guido Cantelli International Orchestral Conducting Award.