George Gershwin was an American composer and pianist whose compositions spanned both popular and classical genres. Among his best-known works are the orchestral compositions Rhapsody in Blue and An American in Paris, the songs Swanee and Fascinating Rhythm, the jazz standard I Got Rhythm, the opera Porgy and Bess which spawned the hit Summertime. Gershwin studied piano under Charles Hambitzer and composition with Rubin Goldmark, Henry Cowell, Joseph Brody, he began his career as a song plugger but soon started composing Broadway theater works with his brother Ira Gershwin and Buddy DeSylva. He moved to Paris intending to study with Nadia Boulanger, he returned to New York City and wrote Porgy and Bess with Ira and DuBose Heyward. It was a commercial failure but came to be considered one of the most important American operas of the twentieth century and an American cultural classic. Gershwin moved to Hollywood and composed numerous film scores until his death in 1937 from a malignant brain tumor.
His compositions have been adapted for use in films and television, several became jazz standards recorded and covered in many variations. Gershwin was of Russian Lithuanian Jewish ancestry, his grandfather, Jakov Gershowitz, had served for 25 years as a mechanic for the Imperial Russian Army to earn the right of free travel and residence as a Jew. His teenage son, Moishe Gershowitz, worked as a leather cutter for women's shoes. Moishe Gershowitz met and fell in love with Roza Bruskina, the teenage daughter of a furrier in Vilnius, she and her family moved to New York due to increasing anti-Jewish sentiment in Russia, changing her first name to Rose. Moishe, faced with compulsory military service if he remained in Russia, moved to America as soon as he could afford to. Once in New York, he changed his first name to Morris. Gershowitz lived with a maternal uncle in Brooklyn, he married Rose on July 21, 1895, Gershowitz soon Americanized his name to Gershwine. Their first child, Ira Gershwin, was born on December 6, 1896, after which the family moved into a second-floor apartment on Brooklyn's Snediker Avenue.
On September 26, 1898, George was born as second son to Morris and Rose Bruskin Gershwine in their second-floor apartment on Brooklyn's Snediker Avenue. His birth certificate identifies him as Jacob Gershwine, with the surname pronounced'Gersh-vin' in the Russian and Yiddish immigrant community, he had just one given name, contrary to the American practice of giving children both a first and middle name. He was named after a one time Russian army mechanic, he soon became known as George, changed the spelling of his surname to'Gershwin' about the time he became a professional musician. After Ira and George, another boy Arthur Gershwin, a girl Frances Gershwin were born into the family; the family lived in many different residences, as their father changed dwellings with each new enterprise in which he became involved. They grew up around the Yiddish Theater District. George and Ira frequented the local Yiddish theaters, with George appearing onstage as an extra. George lived a usual childhood existence for children of New York tenements: running around with his boyhood friends, roller skating and misbehaving in the streets.
Until 1908, he cared nothing for music, when as a ten-year-old he was intrigued upon hearing his friend Maxie Rosenzweig's violin recital. The sound, the way his friend played, captured him. At around the same time, George's parents had bought a piano for lessons for his older brother Ira, but to his parents' surprise, Ira's relief, it was George who spent more time playing it. Although his younger sister Frances was the first in the family to make a living through her musical talents, she married young and devoted herself to being a mother and housewife, thus surrendering any serious time to musical endeavors. Having given up her performing career, she settled upon painting as a creative outlet, a hobby George pursued. Arthur Gershwin followed in the paths of George and Ira becoming a composer of songs and short piano works. With a degree of frustration, George tried various piano teachers for some two years before being introduced to Charles Hambitzer by Jack Miller, the pianist in the Beethoven Symphony Orchestra.
Until his death in 1918, Hambitzer remained Gershwin's musical mentor and taught him conventional piano technique, introduced him to music of the European classical tradition, encouraged him to attend orchestral concerts. Following such concerts, young Gershwin would try to play, on the piano at home, the music he had heard from recall, without sheet music; as a matter of course, Gershwin studied with the classical composer Rubin Goldmark and avant-garde composer-theorist Henry Cowell, thus formalizing his classical music training. In 1913, Gershwin left school at the age of 15 and found his first job as a "song plugger", his employer was Jerome H. Remick and Company, a Detroit-based publishing firm with a branch office on New York City's Tin Pan Alley, he earned $15 a week, his first published song was "When You Want'Em, You Can't Get'Em, When You've Got'Em, You Don't Want'Em" in 1916 when Gershwin was only 17 years old. It earned him 50 cents. In 1916, Gershwin started working for Aeolian Company and Standard Music Rolls in New York and arranging.
He produced dozens, if not hundreds, of rolls under his own and assumed names
The Pittsburgh Press, published from 1884 to 1992, was a major afternoon daily newspaper in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, US. It was one of many competing city newspapers published prior to the First World War including The Hearst Corporation-owned Pittsburgh Sun-Telegraph, the Pittsburgh Dispatch, the Block Communications-owned Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. At one time, the Press was the second largest newspaper in Pennsylvania, behind only the Philadelphia Inquirer. For four years starting in 2011, the brand was revived and applied to an afternoon online edition of the Post-Gazette; the Evening Penny Press, the title changed to The Pittsburg Press in 1887. The paper referred to the city and its sports teams as "Pittsburg" until August 1921, when the letter H was added. In 1923, the Press was acquired by the Scripps-Howard Syndicate. During the 1960s, it entered into a Joint Operating Agreement with the competing Pittsburgh Post-Gazette; the Post-Gazette had purchased and merged with the Hearst Corporation's Pittsburgh Sun-Telegraph leaving just itself and the much larger Pittsburgh Press.
The JOA was to be managed by the Pittsburgh Press owners as the Press had the larger circulation and was the stronger of the two papers. Under the JOA, the Post-Gazette became a 6-day morning paper, the Pittsburgh Press became a 6-day afternoon paper in addition to publishing the sole Sunday paper; this arrangement was in effect until Scripps began bargaining with the Teamsters union, whose contract with the Press expired in 1991. After a lengthy Teamsters strike in 1992, Scripps sold the Press to Block Communications, the owners of the much smaller JOA paper, the Post-Gazette, who promptly ceased printing the Press and folded it into the Post-Gazette. In return, Scripps received The Monterey County Herald; the sale required a ruling by the U. S. Department of Justice as the JOA was regulated by the Newspaper Preservation Act of 1970; the outcome was a surprise to many people in Pittsburgh, as the Press had a much higher profile, was the larger of the two JOA papers, both in company size and in circulation.
Before the 1992 strike, many assumed that the smaller Post-Gazette would cease publication when the JOA expired. The departure of the Press meant that Scripps was exiting the Pittsburgh market entirely; the Sunday edition was popular with readers because of its two comics sections, which included Prince Valiant, Dick Tracy, Gordo, Priscilla's Pop, Jest in Pun, among many others, because of the four inserted magazines: Press TV Guide, Family and Weekly. Block Communications announced on November 14, 2011 that it was bringing back the Press in an online-only edition for the afternoon, effective immediately. David Shribman, executive editor of the Post-Gazette, explained his paper's motivation for reviving the Press name, citing the fact that his newspaper still received letters to the editor addressed to the Press instead of the Post-Gazette, that despite nearly 20 years since its last publication Pittsburgh natives still talked about the Press on a regular basis. Although published electronically, the new Press was formatted with a fixed layout replicating that of a traditional printed newspaper.
The experiment ended with the issue of September 25, 2015. Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, current owner of the "Press" name and present-day heir to its archives. Pittsburgh Press Co. v. Pittsburgh Commission on Human Relations Official website History of the Post-Gazette Justice Department Will Not Challenge Acquisition Of Pittsburgh Press By The Post-Gazette Google News Archive's microfilm archive 1888–1992
Naples is the regional capital of Campania and the third-largest municipality in Italy after Rome and Milan. In 2017, around 967,069 people lived within the city's administrative limits while its province-level municipality has a population of 3,115,320 residents, its continuously built-up metropolitan area is the second or third largest metropolitan area in Italy and one of the most densely populated cities in Europe. First settled by Greeks in the second millennium BC, Naples is one of the oldest continuously inhabited urban areas in the world. In the ninth century BC, a colony known as Parthenope or Παρθενόπη was established on the Island of Megaride refounded as Neápolis in the sixth century BC; the city was an important part of Magna Graecia, played a major role in the merging of Greek and Roman society and a significant cultural centre under the Romans. It served as the capital of the Duchy of Naples of the Kingdom of Naples and of the Two Sicilies until the unification of Italy in 1861.
Between 1925 and 1936, Naples was expanded and upgraded by Benito Mussolini's government but subsequently sustained severe damage from Allied bombing during World War II, which led to extensive post-1945 reconstruction work. Naples has experienced significant economic growth in recent decades, helped by the construction of the Centro Direzionale business district and an advanced transportation network, which includes the Alta Velocità high-speed rail link to Rome and Salerno and an expanded subway network. Naples is the third-largest urban economy in Italy, after Rome; the Port of Naples is one of the most important in Europe and home of the Allied Joint Force Command Naples, the NATO body that oversees North Africa, the Sahel and Middle East. Naples' historic city centre is the largest in Europe and a UNESCO World Heritage Site, with a wide range of culturally and significant sites nearby, including the Palace of Caserta and the Roman ruins of Pompeii and Herculaneum. Naples is known for its natural beauties such as Posillipo, Phlegraean Fields and Vesuvius.
Neapolitan cuisine is synonymous with pizza – which originated in the city – but it includes many lesser-known dishes. The best-known sports team in Naples is the Serie A club S. S. C. Napoli, two-time Italian champions who play at the San Paolo Stadium in the southwest of the city, in the Fuorigrotta quarter. Naples has been inhabited since the Neolithic period; the earliest Greek settlements were established in the Naples area in the second millennium BC. Sailors from the Greek island of Rhodes established a small commercial port called Parthenope on the island of Megaride in the ninth century BC. By the eighth century BC, the settlement had expanded to include Monte Echia. In the sixth century BC the new urban zone of Neápolis was founded on the plain becoming one of the foremost cities of Magna Graecia; the city grew due to the influence of the powerful Greek city-state of Syracuse, became an ally of the Roman Republic against Carthage. During the Samnite Wars, the city, now a bustling centre of trade, was captured by the Samnites.
During the Punic Wars, the strong walls surrounding Neápolis repelled the invading forces of the Carthaginian general Hannibal. Naples was respected by the Romans as a paragon of Hellenistic culture. During the Roman era, the people of Naples maintained their Greek language and customs, while the city was expanded with elegant Roman villas and public baths. Landmarks such as the Temple of Dioscures were built, many emperors chose to holiday in the city, including Claudius and Tiberius. Virgil, the author of Rome's national epic, the Aeneid, received part of his education in the city, resided in its environs, it was during this period. Januarius, who would become Naples' patron saint, was martyred there in the fourth century AD; the last emperor of the Western Roman Empire, Romulus Augustulus, was exiled to Naples by the Germanic king Odoacer in the fifth century AD. Following the decline of the Western Roman Empire, Naples was captured by the Ostrogoths, a Germanic people, incorporated into the Ostrogothic Kingdom.
However, Belisarius of the Byzantine Empire recaptured Naples in 536, after entering the city via an aqueduct. In 543, during the Gothic Wars, Totila took the city for the Ostrogoths, but the Byzantines seized control of the area following the Battle of Mons Lactarius on the slopes of Vesuvius. Naples was expected to keep in contact with the Exarchate of Ravenna, the centre of Byzantine power on the Italian Peninsula. After the exarchate fell, a Duchy of Naples was created. Although Naples' Greco-Roman culture endured, it switched allegiance from Constantinople to Rome under Duke Stephen II, putting it under papal suzerainty by 763; the years between 818 and 832 were tumultuous in regard to Naples' relations with the Byzantine Emperor, with numerous local pretenders feuding for possession of the ducal throne. Theoctistus was appointed without imperial approval. However, the disgruntled general populace chased him from the city, instead elected Stephen III, a man who minted coins with his own initials, r
The Three-Cornered Hat
El sombrero de tres picos is a ballet choreographed by Léonide Massine to music by Manuel de Falla. It was commissioned by Sergei Diaghilev and premiered in 1919, it is not only a ballet with Spanish setting but one that employs the techniques of Spanish dance instead of classical ballet. During World War I, Manuel de Falla wrote a pantomime ballet in two scenes and called it El corregidor y la molinera; the work was scored for a small chamber orchestra and was performed in 1917. Sergei Diaghilev of the Ballets Russes, saw the premiere of El corregidor y la molinera and commissioned Falla to rewrite it; the outcome was a two-act ballet scored for large orchestra called El sombrero de tres picos. This was first performed in London at the Alhambra Theatre on 22 July 1919 with sets and costumes created by Pablo Picasso and choreography was by Léonide Massine. Diaghilev asked Falla to conduct the premiere but the composer felt he was not experienced enough to conduct a work so complex and he handed the baton to Ernest Ansermet after one rehearsal.
The story, of a magistrate infatuated with a miller's faithful wife who attempts to seduce her, derives from the novella of the same name by Pedro Antonio de Alarcón and has been adapted to film several times in Spanish. The music has two acts: Act IIntroducción La Tarde Danza de la molinera Las uvas Act IIDanza de los vecinos Danza del molinero Danza del corregidor Danza final After a short fanfare, the curtain rises revealing a mill in Andalusia; the miller is trying to teach a pet blackbird to tell the time. He tells the bird to chirp twice. Annoyed, the miller tells it to try again; the bird now chirps four times. The miller gets angry at the bird again and his wife offers it a grape; the bird takes the grape and chirps twice. The miller and his wife continue their work. Soon the magistrate, his wife, their bodyguard pass by, taking their daily walk; the procession goes by and the couple returns to their work. The dandified, but lecherous, magistrate is heard coming back; the miller tells his wife that they will play a trick on the magistrate.
The miller hides and the magistrate sees the miller's wife dancing. After her dance, she offers him some grapes; when the magistrate gets the grapes, the miller's wife runs away with the magistrate following her. He catches her, the miller jumps out of a bush with a stick; the miller chases the magistrate away and the miller and his wife continue working. That night, guests are at the miller's house; the miller dances to entertain them. His dance is interrupted by the magistrate's bodyguard, who has come to arrest him on trumped-up charges. After the miller is taken away, the guests leave one-by-one; the miller's wife soon the magistrate comes to the mill. On his way to the door, the magistrate falls in the river; the miller's wife runs away. The magistrate undresses, hangs his clothes on a tree, goes to sleep in the miller's bed; the miller sees the magistrate in his bed. The miller thinks that the magistrate is sleeping with his wife and plans to switch clothes with the magistrate and avenge himself by seducing the magistrate's wife.
The miller leaves, dressed as the magistrate, the magistrate soon wakes up. He goes outside and sees that his clothes are gone, so he dresses in the miller's clothes; the bodyguard sees the magistrate dressed as the miller and goes to arrest him. The miller's wife sees the bodyguard fighting with what looks like her husband and joins in the fight; the miller sees his wife in the fight and joins it to protect her. The magistrate explains the entire story and the ballet ends with the miller's guests tossing the magistrate up and down in a blanket. Throughout the ballet, Falla uses traditional Andalusian folk music; the two songs sung by the mezzo-soprano are examples of cante jondo singing, which accompanies flamenco music and tells a sad story. At one point, he quotes the opening of Beethoven's 5th Symphony. There are many recordings of the complete ballet, as well as of the suites extracted from it. In the early 1960s, Ernest Ansermet, the original conductor, recorded it in stereo for London Records.
The music was played by the Orchestre de la Suisse Romande and the cante jondo soloist was Teresa Berganza. It has been recorded by such conductors as Rafael Fruhbeck de Burgos and Jesús López-Cobos, Leonard Bernstein has recorded the two suites from the ballet with the New York Philharmonic; the original pantomime El corregidor y la molinera has been recorded by Josep Pons and Orquestra del Teatro Lliure for Harmonia Mundi. The Paris Opera Ballet has issued a performance of the complete ballet on a DVD entitled Picasso and Dance; the performance uses not only Massine's original choreography, but actual reproductions of Picasso's sets and costumes. Kennedy, Michael; the Oxford Dictionary of Music. Oxford: Oxford University Press. ISBN 0-19-861459-4
Albert Bruce Sabin was a Polish American medical researcher, best known for developing the oral polio vaccine, which has played a key role in nearly eradicating the disease. Sabin was born in Białystok, Poland part of the Russian Empire, to Polish-Jewish parents, Jacob Saperstein and Tillie Krugman. In 1921, he emigrated with his family as Abram Saperstejn on the S/S Lapland which sailed from Antwerp, Belgium, to the Port of New York. In 1930, he became a naturalized citizen of the United States and changed his name to Sabin, as well as assuming the middle name Bruce. Sabin received a medical degree from New York University in 1931, he trained in internal medicine and surgery at Bellevue Hospital in New York City from 1931–1933. In 1934, he conducted research at The Lister Institute for Preventive Medicine in England joined the Rockefeller Institute for Medical Research. During this time, he developed an intense interest in research in the area of infectious diseases. In 1939, he moved to Cincinnati Children's Hospital in Ohio.
During World War II, he was a lieutenant colonel in the U. S. Army Medical helped develop a vaccine against Japanese encephalitis. Maintaining his association with Children's Hospital, by 1946, he had become the head of Pediatric Research at the University of Cincinnati. At Cincinnati's Children's Hospital, Sabin supervised the fellowship of Robert M. Chanock, whom he called his "star scientific son."Sabin went on a fact-finding trip to Cuba in 1967 to discuss with Cuban officials the possibility of establishing a collaborative relationship between the United States and Cuba through their respective national academies of sciences, in spite of the fact that the two countries did not have formal diplomatic ties. In 1969–72, he lived and worked in Israel as the President of Weizmann Institute of Science in Rehovot. After his return to the United States, he worked as a research professor at the Medical University of South Carolina, he moved to Washington, D. C. area, where he was a resident scholar at the John E. Fogarty International Center on the NIH campus in Bethesda, Maryland.
With the menace of polio growing and other researchers, most notably Jonas Salk in Pittsburgh and Hilary Koprowski and Herald Cox in New York City and Philadelphia, sought a vaccine to prevent or mitigate the illness. The Sabin vaccine is an oral vaccine containing weakened forms of strains of polio viruses. In 1955, Salk's "killed" vaccine was released for use, it was effective in preventing most of the complications of polio, but did not prevent the initial intestinal infection. The Sabin vaccine is easier to give than the earlier vaccine developed by Salk in 1954, its effects last longer. Sabin first tested his live attenuated oral vaccine at the Chillicothe Ohio Reformatory in late 1954. From 1956–1960, he worked with Russian colleagues to perfect the oral vaccine and prove its extraordinary effectiveness and safety; the Sabin vaccine worked in the intestines to block the poliovirus from entering the bloodstream. In the intestines, Sabin had discovered, the poliovirus attacked. Thus, the oral vaccine broke the chain of transmission of the virus and allowed for the possibility that polio might one day be eradicated.
Between 1955 and 1961, the oral vaccine was tested on at least 100 million people in the USSR, parts of Eastern Europe, Singapore and the Netherlands. The first industrial production and mass use of oral poliovirus vaccine from Sabin strains was organized by Soviet scientist Mikhail Chumakov; this provided the critical impetus for allowing large-scale clinical trials of OPV in the United States in April 1960 on 180,000 Cincinnati school children. The mass immunization techniques that Sabin pioneered with his associates eradicated polio in Cincinnati. Against considerable opposition from the March of Dimes Foundation, which supported the effective killed vaccine, Sabin prevailed on the Public Health Service to license his three strains of vaccine. While the PHS stalled, the USSR sent millions of doses of the oral vaccine to places with polio epidemics, such as Japan, reaped the humanitarian benefit. Indeed, it was not clear to many that the vaccine was an American one, financed by U. S. dollars, as it was not available to ordinary Americans.
Sabin developed vaccines against other viral diseases, including encephalitis and dengue. In addition, he investigated some forms of cancer. In 1983, Sabin developed calcification of the cervical spine, which caused paralysis and intense pain. Sabin revealed in a television interview that the experience had made him decide to spend the rest of his life working on alleviating pain; this condition was treated by surgery conducted at Johns Hopkins Hospital in 1992 when Sabin was 86. A year Sabin died in Washington, D. C. from heart failure. Sabin refused to patent his vaccine, waiving every commercial exploitation by pharmaceutical industries, so that the low price would guarantee a more extensive spread of the treatment. From the development of his vaccine Sabin did not gain a single dollar, continued to live on his salary as a professor; the Sabin Vaccine Institute was founded in 1993 to continue the work of developing and promoting vaccines. To commemorate Sabin's pioneering work, the institute annually awards the Albert B.
Sabin Gold Medal in recognition of work in the field of a complementary field. Election to the Polio Hall of Fame, dedicated in Warm Springs, Georgia, on January 2, 1958 Robert Koch Prize Feltrinelli Prize Lasker-DeBakey Clinical Medical Research Award National Medal of Scien
The Prague Conservatory or Prague Conservatoire is a music school in Prague, Czech Republic, founded in 1808. Prague Conservatory offers four or six year study courses, which can be compared to the level of high school diploma in other countries. Graduates of Prague Conservatory can continue their training by enrolling in an institution that offers undergraduate education; the Prague Conservatory was founded in 1808 by local burghers. Classes started after a delay caused by the Napoleonic Wars. Bedřich Diviš Weber was appointed the first director of the school. In 1891, Antonín Dvořák joined the faculty as the head of the composition department, he was the school's director between 1901 and 1904. Dvořák's students included the composers Vítězslav Novák, Josef Suk, Rudolf Friml, Oskar Nedbal, Franz Lehár. Another director of the school was pianist Vilém Kurz. Following the creation of Czechoslovakia in 1918, drama and ballet departments were established. Students in this period included Lída Baarová, Jiří Langmajer, Tatiana Vilhelmová, Filip Blažek, Zuzana Vejvodová.
Katya Zvelebilova began classical ballet training at the Prague Conservatory before joining the Royal Ballet School in London, where she is now a member of the artistic staff, having retired from professional ballet. Applicants must pass stringent entrance examinations held in several elimination rounds, to demonstrate their talent. Applications are accepted once a year, auditions take place at the end of January. Prague Conservatory offers instruction in several instruments, including accordion, guitar and organ, as well as in singing, composing and acting; the curriculum includes one-on-one music lessons, music theory studies, language training, as well as classes on general subjects. The institution has its own symphonic and chamber orchestras, several chamber music ensembles and a theatre company. About 250 concerts and 40 dramatic performances take place annually. In the academic year of 2005/2006 550 Czech and 40 foreign students studied at the Conservatory. František Brož Ladislav Černý Kateřina Emingerová Emil Hlobil Valentina Kameníková Saša Večtomov Official page
Teatro La Fenice is an opera house in Venice, Italy. It is one of "the most famous and renowned landmarks in the history of Italian theatre", in the history of opera as a whole. In the 19th century, La Fenice became the site of many famous operatic premieres at which the works of several of the four major bel canto era composers – Rossini, Donizetti, Verdi – were performed, its name reflects its role in permitting an opera company to "rise from the ashes" despite losing the use of three theatres to fire, the first in 1774 after the city's leading house was destroyed and rebuilt but not opened until 1792. However, the third fire was the result of arson, it destroyed the house in 1996 leaving only the exterior walls, but it was rebuilt and re-opened in November 2004. In order to celebrate this event the tradition of the Venice New Year's Concert started. Seven old theaters were active in Venice at the end of the eighteenth century, two for the production of plays and the others for music; the grandest of these was the Teatro San Benedetto, which stood on the site occupied by the Rossini cinema.
Built by the Grimani family in 1755, it was subsequently assigned to the Nobile Società di Palchettisti. However, following a judicial ruling in 1787, this association was expelled and forced to give up the opera house to the noble Venier family, the owners of the land on which it was built; the association proposed building a larger and more sumptuous opera house than the one it had lost, which would become the symbol of their changing fortunes and their capacity for ′rebirth′. It was therefore to be called La Fenice, like the mythical, immortal bird able to rise out of its own ashes, to symbolise the association's splendid rebirth after its misfortunes; the piece of land between Contrada Santa Maria Zobenigo and Contrada Sant'Angelo was bought for the purpose in 1790 and the private houses on it were demolished. A competition was announced for the design of the opera house, the committee of experts selected the work of the architect Giannantonio Selva from the 29 plans submitted. Work began in 1791 and was completed just 18 months in April 1792.
La Fenice made its mark as one of the leading opera houses, noted in Italy and Europe both for the high artistic quality of its work and the splendour of its building. But as if the name were the bearer of bad omens, on the night of 13 December 1836 the opera house was devastated by a first fire caused by a installed Austrian heater; the newspapers said it took three days and three nights to put out the fire and that various hotspots were still smouldering among the debris 18 days later. The flames destroyed the house, only the foyer and the Sale Apollinee were saved; the association decided to proceed with its immediate reconstruction. It appointed the architect Giambattista Meduna and his engineer brother Tommaso to carry out the work, while Tranquillo Orsi was responsible for the decorations; the work began in February 1837 and performances were temporarily staged in the Teatro Apollo. Everything was completed in record time. By the evening of 26 December of the same year, the new opera house, reborn in the new artistic style of the age, was opened to the public.
The speed of the work, led to urgent restoration works to the framework being required as early as 1854 and, again under the direction of Giambattista Meduna, the house was redecorated in a style that remained unchanged until 1996. On 23 July 1935 the box-holder owners ceded their share in the opera house to the Comune di Venezia, so it went from private to public ownership, in 1937-8 part of building was subject to further major restorations and alterations by engineer Eugenio Miozzi. On the night of 29 January 1996, during a period of closure for restoration works, a second fire – as the Myth said – this time arson destroyed the house and most of the Sale Apollinee. Once again La Fenice rose again, faithfully reconstructed to a plan by the architect Aldo Rossi, was reopened on 14 December 2003. In 1774, the Teatro San Benedetto, Venice's leading opera house for more than forty years, burned to the ground. By 1789, with interest from a number of wealthy opera lovers who wanted a spectacular new house, "a defined competition" was organised to find a suitable architect.
It was won by Gianantonio Selva who proposed a neoclassical style building with 170 identical boxes in tiers in a traditional horseshoe shaped auditorium, the favoured style since it was introduced as early as 1642 in Venice. The house would face on one side a campo, or small plaza, on the other a canal, with an entrance which gave direct access backstage and into the theatre. However, the process was not without controversy in regard to the aesthetics of the building; some thirty responses were received and, as Romanelli accounts, Selva's was designated as the design to be constructed, the actual award for best design went to his chief rival, Pietro Bianchi. However, Selva's design and finished opera house appears to have been of high quality and the one best suited to the limitations of the physical space it was obliged to inhabit. Construction began in June 1790, by May 1792 the theatre was completed, it was named "La Fenice", in reference to the company's survival, first of the fire of the loss of its former quarters.
La Fenice was inaugurated on 16 May 1792, with an opera by Giovanni Paisiello entitled I giuochi d'Agrigento set to a libretto by Alessandro Pepoli. But no sooner had the opera house been rebuilt than a legal dispute broke out