In 1756 the Bolognese Senate, on Cardinal Lambertini's suggestion, employed the famous stage designer and architect Antonio Galli Bibiena design a new theatre. Eleven years prior, the private theatre of Palazzo Malvezzi had been destroyed by fire and the public theatre "della Sala" was in need of restoration. The new facility was built on Via San Donato (today's via Zamboni) on the site where the magnificent Bentivoglio palace had once stood before being razed to the ground by rioting populace in 1507. Bibiena’s original monumental project was reduced for economic reasons following critical remarks by architects of Accademia Clementina (for example, A. Torreggiani and C. F. Dotti). A beautiful wooden model of the first plan is now visible at Museo della Musica. Several adjustments were needed before the building could be completed: reduction of the proscenium, of the decorations in the façade, in the bell-shaped sweep, and so on. The theatre was inaugurated in 1763 with the new opera 'Il Trionfo di Clelia' by Metastasio with music by Gluck and stage scenes by Bibiena.
A complete renovation of the dressing rooms, stage and theatre fittings was carried out between 1818 and 1820 by municipal architect Giuseppe Tubertini. In the 1870's the ceiling of the boxes was repainted by Luigi Busi and Luigi Samoggia, while Coriolano Monti worked on the renovation of the rear façade. The front façade was completed only in 1935-6 by Umberto Ricci after fire had destroyed the stage and the curtain by N. Angiolini a few years before.
The theatre is an independent organization that includes theatre services, a historical archive, a library, facilities for choir and orchestra rehearsals.
Telephone: +39 051529019
Ticket office opening hours:
Tuesday - Friday 12am – 6pm
Saturday 11am – 3pm
On performance weekdays and Saturday, also open from 2 hours before until 15 minutes after the performance begins.
On performance holidays, also open from 1 hour and half before until 15 minutes after the performance begins.