The Verona Arena is a Roman amphitheatre in Piazza Bra in Verona, Italy built in the first century. It is still in use today and is internationally famous for the large-scale opera performances given there, it is one of the best preserved ancient structures of its kind. In ancient times, nearly 30,000 people was the housing capacity of the Arena. Nowadays, for security reasons, the maximum attendance is 15,000 people, it would be used as the closing ceremony if Milan/Cortina d'Ampezzo is awarded the 2026 Winter Olympics. The building itself was built in AD 30 on a site, beyond the city walls; the ludi staged there were so famous that spectators came from many other places far away, to witness them. The amphitheatre could host more than 30,000 spectators in ancient times; the round façade of the building was composed of white and pink limestone from Valpolicella, but after a major earthquake in 1117, which completely destroyed the structure's outer ring, except for the so-called "ala", the stone was quarried for re-use in other buildings.
It impressed medieval visitors to the city, one of whom considered it to have been a labyrinth, without ingress or egress. Ciriaco d'Ancona was filled with admiration for the way it had been built and Giovanni Antonio Panteo's civic panegyric De laudibus veronae, 1483, remarked that it struck the viewer as a construction, more than human; the first interventions to recover the arena's function as a theatre began during the Renaissance. Some operatic performances were mounted in the building during the 1850s, owing to its outstanding acoustics, and in 1913, operatic performances in the arena commenced in earnest due to the zeal and initiative of the Italian opera tenor Giovanni Zenatello and the impresario Ottone Rovato. The first 20th-century operatic production at the arena, a staging of Giuseppe Verdi's Aida, took place on 10 August of that year, to mark the birth of Verdi 100 years before in 1813. Musical luminaries such as Puccini and Mascagni were in attendance. Since summer seasons of opera have been mounted continually at the arena, except in 1915–18 and 1940–45, when Europe was convulsed in war.
In modern times, at least four productions are mounted each year between August. During the winter months, the local opera and ballet companies perform at the L'Accademia Filarmonica. Modern-day travellers are advised that admission tickets to sit on the arena's stone steps are much cheaper to buy than tickets giving access to the padded chairs available on lower levels. Candles lit after sunset around the arena; every year over 500,000 people see productions of the popular operas in this arena. Once capable of housing 20,000 patrons per performance, the arena has featured many of world's most notable opera singers. In the post-World War II era, they have included Giuseppe Di Stefano, Maria Callas, Tito Gobbi and Renata Tebaldi among other names. A number of conductors have appeared too; the official arena shop has historical recordings made by some of them available for sale. The opera productions in the Verona Arena had not used any microphones or loudspeakers until an electronic sound reinforcement system was installed in 2011.
In recent times, the arena has hosted several concerts of international rock and pop bands, among which Zucchero Fornaciari, who holds the record of the highest number of concerts in the location, 38 from 1989 to 2017, the highest number of concerts during the same tour, 22 of the Black Cat World Tour, Bruce Springsteen, Laura Pausini, Pink Floyd, Alicia Keys, One Direction, Simple Minds, Duran Duran, Deep Purple, The Who, Dire Straits, Mike Oldfield, Rod Stewart, Pearl Jam, Peter Gabriel, Björk, Leonard Cohen, Paul McCartney, Whitney Houston, Mumford & Sons, Spandau Ballet, 5 Seconds Of Summer and 2Cellos. In 1981, 1984 and 2010 it hosted the podium and presentation of the Giro d'Italia with thousands packing the arena to watch the prizes being handed out; the 2011 Bollywood film Rockstar directed by Imtiaz Ali starring Ranbir Kapoor with music composed by Academy Award winner A. R. Rahman opens and closes with several concerts shot here. On 24 September 2012 Leonard Cohen performed here as part of the First European Leg of his "Old Ideas" World Tour.
On 25 June 2013 Paul McCartney performed at the venue as part of his 2013 Tour. British-Irish boy band One Direction performed on 19 May 2013 as part of their Take Me Home Tour. Spandau Ballet played a concert at Verona Arena on 6 July 2015, as part of their Soul Boys Of The Western World Tour. On 21 September 2015 the operatic pop group Il Volo performed in Verona for their final date of the Grande Amore Tour; the evening was recorded and broadcast by Rai1 and gained a share of 23% On May 13th 2016, the Australian band 5 Seconds Of Summer performed in Verona as part of their 2016 Sounds Live Feels Live World Tour. On May 28th and 29th 2016, the English singer Adele performed in Verona as part of her Adele Live 2016 Tour. Arena di Verona Festival Earth Hour Festivalbar Verona Arena website, in English Photographs of Arena di Verona An article on Arena di Verona including Photographs and videos Live webcam on Verona Arena Verona Arena English Video Introduction
Chicago Symphony Orchestra
The Chicago Symphony Orchestra was founded by Theodore Thomas in 1891. The ensemble makes its home at Orchestra Hall in Chicago and plays a summer season at the Ravinia Festival; the music director is Riccardo Muti, who began his tenure in 2010. The CSO is one of five American orchestras referred to as the "Big Five". In 1890, Charles Norman Fay, a Chicago businessman, invited Theodore Thomas to establish an orchestra in Chicago. Under the name "Chicago Orchestra," the orchestra played its first concert October 16, 1891 at the Auditorium Theater, it is one of the oldest orchestras in the United States, along with the New York Philharmonic, the Boston Symphony Orchestra and the Saint Louis Symphony Orchestra. Orchestra Hall, now a component of the Symphony Center complex, was designed by Chicago architect Daniel H. Burnham and completed in 1904. Maestro Thomas served as music director for thirteen years until his death shortly after the orchestra's newly built residence was dedicated December 14, 1904.
The orchestra was renamed "Theodore Thomas Orchestra" in 1905 and today, Orchestra Hall still has "Theodore Thomas Orchestra Hall" inscribed in its façade. In 1905, Frederick Stock became music director, a post he held until his death in 1942; the orchestra was renamed the Chicago Symphony Orchestra in 1913. Subsequent music directors have included Désiré Defauw, Artur Rodziński, Rafael Kubelík, Fritz Reiner, Jean Martinon, Georg Solti, Daniel Barenboim. On May 5, 2008, the CSO Association's president Deborah Rutter announced that the orchestra had named Riccardo Muti as its 10th music director, starting with the 2010–2011 season, for an initial contract of 5 years, his contract has been renewed through the 2020 season. The orchestra has hosted many distinguished guest conductors, including Thomas Beecham, Leonard Bernstein, Aaron Copland, Edward Elgar, Morton Gould, Paul Hindemith, Erich Kunzel, Erich Leinsdorf, Charles Munch, Eugene Ormandy, André Previn, Sergei Prokofiev, Sergei Rachmaninoff, Maurice Ravel, Arnold Schoenberg, Leonard Slatkin, Leopold Stokowski, Richard Strauss, George Szell, Klaus Tennstedt, Michael Tilson Thomas, Bruno Walter, John Williams.
Many of these guests have recorded with the orchestra. Carlos Kleiber made his only symphonic guest appearances in America with the CSO in October 1978 and June 1983; the three principal guest conductors of the orchestra have been Carlo Maria Giulini, Claudio Abbado, Pierre Boulez. The CSO holds an annual fundraiser known as the Chicago Symphony Marathon, more as "Radiothon" and "Symphonython," in conjunction with Chicago radio station WFMT; as part of the event, from 1986 through 2008, the orchestra released tracks from their broadcast archives on double LP/CD collections, as well as two larger sets of broadcasts and rarities. On March 10, 2019, CSO musicians went on strike, claiming that management wanted to cut their pension benefits in addition to reducing overall salary; the players picketed outside of Orchestra Hall for 12 hours the next day, stating that they would continue to do so daily until "a contract, fair to the musicians is reached". On March 12, it was announced. On March 22, the musicians announced.
The Chicago Symphony Orchestra maintains a summer home at the Ravinia Festival in Highland Park, Illinois. The CSO first performed there during Ravinia Park's second season in November 1905 and continued to appear there on and off through August 1931, after which the Park fell dark due to the Great Depression; the CSO helped to inaugurate the first season of the Ravinia Festival in August 1936 and has been in residence at the Festival every summer since. Many conductors have made their debut with the Chicago Symphony at Ravinia, several have gone on to become Music Director at Ravinia, including Seiji Ozawa, James Levine, Christoph Eschenbach; the position of Music Director of the Ravinia Festival is unfilled. The Ravinia Festival created an honorific title for James Levine—"Conductor Laureate"—and signed him to a five-year renewable contract beginning in 2018. On December 4, 2017, after Levine was accused of sexually abusing four males, the Ravinia Festival severed all ties with Levine, terminated his five-year contract to lead the Chicago Symphony there.
The Chicago Symphony has amassed an extensive discography. Recordings by the CSO have earned 62 Grammy Awards from the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences; these include several Classical Album of the Year awards, awards in Best Classical Performance in vocal soloist, instrumental and orchestral categories. On May 1, 1916, Frederick Stock and the orchestra recorded the Wedding March from Felix Mendelssohn's music to A Midsummer Night's Dream for Columbia Records. Stock and the CSO made numerous recordings for Columbia and the Victor Talking Machine Company/RCA Victor; the Chicago Symphony's first electrical recordings were made for Victor in December 1925, including a performance of Karl Goldmark's In Springtime overture. These early electrical recordings were made in Victor's Chicago studios. Stock continued recording for Columbia and RCA Victor until his death in 1942. In 1948, three versions of Aram Khachaturian's "Sabre Dance" reached number one in the Billboard Best-Selling Records by Classical Artists: a CSO version conducted by Artur Rodziński, as well as a New York Philharmonic version conducted by Efrem Kurtz and a version by Oscar L
Scicli is a town and municipality in the Province of Ragusa in the south east of Sicily, southern Italy. It is 25 kilometres from Ragusa, 308 kilometres from Palermo, has a population of 27,051. Alongside seven other cities in the Val di Noto, it has been listed as one of UNESCO's World Heritage Sites; the municipality borders with Ragusa. Settlements of the area of Scicli dates back to Early Bronze Ages. Scicli was founded by the Sicels around 300 BCE. In 864 CE, Scicli was conquered as part of the Muslim conquest of Sicily. Under their rule it flourished as an agricultural and trade center. According to geographer Muhammad al-Idrisi, "shipping reached Scicli in Sicily from Calabria, Africa and many other places."In 1091, it was conquered from the Arabs by the Normans, under Roger I of Hauteville, after a fierce battle. Scicli was one of the garrison which rebelled against the Angevine domination in the Sicilian Vespers. Following the various dynasties ruling the Kingdom of Sicily, it was an Aragonese-Spanish possession before being united in the Kingdom of Italy in the mid 19th century.
Following a catastrophic earthquake in 1693, much of the town was rebuilt in the Sicilian baroque style, which today gives the town the elegant appearance which draws many tourists to visit it. San Matteo: this church was the local Mother Church until 1874, it is located on the eponymous hill in the Old City, where there is the ruin of an Arab/Norman castle. The church of Santa Marìa la Nova, with a huge Neoclassicist façade; the interior houses a cypresse-wood statue of Madonna della Pietà of Byzantine origin. San Bartolomeo baroque church Sant'Ignazio, housing the venerated image of Madonna dei Milìci. San Michele Arcangelo Santa Maria la Nova Palazzo Fava, one of the first and largest Baroque palaces in the town. Notable are the late-Baroque decorations of the portal and the balconies the one on the Via San Bartolomeo; the Town Hall, the Palazzo Spadaro and the Palazzo Beneventano, all boasting Baroque decorations. Scicli is used as a film set, most for Marco Bellocchio's Il regista dei matrimoni and is popular in Italy as the location of the police station of Il Commissario Montalbano, the popular television series broadcast by RAI.
The town is notable for its religious processions which includes "Presepe" enacted in the caves surrounding the city at Christmas time. These caves, known as the Chiarafura caves, were dug out in the tuff cliffs, some were inhabited by the local poor as as 1958. At Easter, the town celebrates with the "Uomo Vivo" parade which involves a long religious procession through the city. A decorated horse parade takes place in March, from Scicli to the neighbouring town of Donnalucata; the most spectacular religious festival, the A Maronna i Milici occurs in May, commemorating the appearance of the Madonna on a white horse holding aloft a sword, described as "probably...the only armed Holy Virgin in the world." This encouraged the Christian Normans to defeat the Saracens in 1091. However, the story itself is believed to have been first promoted no earlier than the 15th century; the economy of Scicli is agricultural, the area is renowned for its many greenhouses producing the primizie that are exported all over Italy.
The local association football club is the U. P. D. Scicli; the town plays host to an annual road running race, Memorial Peppe Greco, which traces its route through the city centre. Scicli has a railway station on the Canicattì-Gela-Ragusa-Syracuse line. Another station serves the frazione of Sampieri; the town will be served by the planned extension, to Gela, of the A18 motorway. Giuseppe Drago and politician, President of Sicily in 1998 Severino Santiapichi and writer Scicli official website Scili Information Cartoon map of Scicli
Tosca is an opera in three acts by Giacomo Puccini to an Italian libretto by Luigi Illica and Giuseppe Giacosa. It premiered at the Teatro Costanzi in Rome on 14 January 1900; the work, based on Victorien Sardou's 1887 French-language dramatic play, La Tosca, is a melodramatic piece set in Rome in June 1800, with the Kingdom of Naples's control of Rome threatened by Napoleon's invasion of Italy. It contains depictions of torture and suicide, as well as some of Puccini's best-known lyrical arias. Puccini saw Sardou's play when it was touring Italy in 1889 and, after some vacillation, obtained the rights to turn the work into an opera in 1895. Turning the wordy French play into a succinct Italian opera took four years, during which the composer argued with his librettists and publisher. Tosca premiered at a time of unrest in Rome, its first performance was delayed for a day for fear of disturbances. Despite indifferent reviews from the critics, the opera was an immediate success with the public.
Musically, Tosca is structured as a through-composed work, with arias, recitative and other elements musically woven into a seamless whole. Puccini used Wagnerian leitmotifs to identify characters and ideas. While critics have dismissed the opera as a facile melodrama with confusions of plot—musicologist Joseph Kerman called it a "shabby little shocker"—the power of its score and the inventiveness of its orchestration have been acknowledged; the dramatic force of Tosca and its characters continues to fascinate both performers and audiences, the work remains one of the most performed operas. Many recordings of the work have been issued, both of live performances; the French playwright Victorien Sardou wrote more than 70 plays all of them successful, none of them performed today. In the early 1880s Sardou began a collaboration with actress Sarah Bernhardt, whom he provided with a series of historical melodramas, his third Bernhardt play, La Tosca, which premiered in Paris on 24 November 1887, in which she starred throughout Europe, was an outstanding success, with more than 3,000 performances in France alone.
Puccini had seen La Tosca at least twice, in Turin. On 7 May 1889 he wrote to his publisher, Giulio Ricordi, begging him to get Sardou's permission for the work to be made into an opera: "I see in this Tosca the opera I need, with no overblown proportions, no elaborate spectacle, nor will it call for the usual excessive amount of music."Ricordi sent his agent in Paris, Emanuele Muzio, to negotiate with Sardou, who preferred that his play be adapted by a French composer. He complained about the reception La Tosca had received in Italy in Milan, warned that other composers were interested in the piece. Nonetheless, Ricordi reached terms with Sardou and assigned the librettist Luigi Illica to write a scenario for an adaptation. In 1891, Illica advised Puccini against the project, most because he felt the play could not be adapted to a musical form; when Sardou expressed his unease at entrusting his most successful work to a new composer whose music he did not like, Puccini took offence. He withdrew from the agreement, which Ricordi assigned to the composer Alberto Franchetti.
Illica wrote a libretto for Franchetti, never at ease with the assignment. When Puccini once again became interested in Tosca, Ricordi was able to get Franchetti to surrender the rights so he could recommission Puccini. One story relates that Ricordi convinced Franchetti that the work was too violent to be staged. A Franchetti family tradition holds that Franchetti gave the work back as a grand gesture, saying, "He has more talent than I do." American scholar Deborah Burton contends that Franchetti gave it up because he saw little merit in it and could not feel the music in the play. Whatever the reason, Franchetti surrendered the rights in May 1895, in August Puccini signed a contract to resume control of the project. According to the libretto, the action of Tosca occurs in Rome in June 1800. Sardou, in his play, dates it more precisely. Italy had long been divided into a number of small states, with the Pope in Rome ruling the Papal States in Central Italy. Following the French Revolution, a French army under Napoleon invaded Italy in 1796, entering Rome unopposed on 11 February 1798 and establishing a republic there.
Pope Pius VI was taken prisoner, was sent into exile on February 20, 1798. The new republic was ruled by seven consuls. In September 1799 the French, who had protected the republic, withdrew from Rome; as they left, troops of the Kingdom of Naples occupied the city. In May 1800 Napoleon, by the undisputed leader of France, brought his troops across the Alps to Italy once again. On 14 June his army met the Austrian forces at the Battle of Marengo. Austrian troops were successful, their commander, Michael von Melas, sent this news south towards Rome. However, fresh French troops arrived in late afternoon, Napoleon attacked the tired Austrians; as Melas retreated in disarray with the remains of his army, he sent a second courier south with the revised message. The Neapolitans abandoned Rome, the city spent the next fourteen years under French domination. In
Luciano Pavarotti, Cavaliere di Gran Croce OMRI was an Italian operatic tenor who crossed over into popular music becoming one of the most commercially successful tenors of all time. He made numerous recordings of complete operas and individual arias, gaining worldwide fame for the quality of his tone, established himself as one of the finest tenors of the 20th century, achieving the honorific title The King Of High C's; as one of the Three Tenors who performed their first concert during the 1990 FIFA World Cup before a global audience, Pavarotti became well known for his televised concerts and media appearances. From the beginning of his professional career as a tenor in 1961 in Italy to his final performance of "Nessun dorma" at the 2006 Winter Olympics in Turin, Pavarotti was at his best in bel canto operas, pre-Aida Verdi roles, Puccini works such as La bohème, Tosca and Madama Butterfly, he sold over 100 million records, the first Three Tenors recording became the best-selling classical album of all time.
Pavarotti was noted for his charity work on behalf of refugees and the Red Cross, amongst others. He died from pancreatic cancer on 6 September 2007. Luciano Pavarotti was born in 1935 on the outskirts of Modena in Northern Italy, the son of Fernando Pavarotti, a baker and amateur tenor, Adele Venturi, a cigar factory worker. Although he spoke fondly of his childhood, the family had little money. According to Pavarotti, his father had a fine tenor voice but rejected the possibility of a singing career because of nervousness. World War II forced the family out of the city in 1943. For the following year they rented a single room from a farmer in the neighbouring countryside, where the young Pavarotti developed an interest in farming. After abandoning the dream of becoming a football goalkeeper, Pavarotti spent seven years in vocal training. Pavarotti's earliest musical influences were his father's recordings, most of them featuring the popular tenors of the day – Beniamino Gigli, Giovanni Martinelli, Tito Schipa, Enrico Caruso.
Pavarotti's favourite tenor and idol was Giuseppe Di Stefano and he was deeply influenced by Mario Lanza, saying: "In my teens I used to go to Mario Lanza movies and come home and imitate him in the mirror". At around the age of nine he began singing with his father in a small local church choir. After what appears to have been a normal childhood with a typical interest in sports—in Pavarotti's case football above all, he graduated from the Scuola Magistrale and faced the dilemma of a career choice, he was interested in pursuing a career as a professional football goalkeeper, but his mother convinced him to train as a teacher. He subsequently taught in an elementary school for two years but allowed his interest in music to win out. Recognising the risk involved, his father gave his consent only reluctantly. Pavarotti began the serious study of music in 1954 at the age of 19 with Arrigo Pola, a respected teacher and professional tenor in Modena who offered to teach him without remuneration. According to conductor Richard Bonynge, Pavarotti never learned to read music.
In 1955, he experienced his first singing success when he was a member of the Corale Rossini, a male voice choir from Modena that included his father, which won first prize at the International Eisteddfod in Llangollen, Wales. He said that this was the most important experience of his life, that it inspired him to become a professional singer. At about this time Pavarotti first met Adua Veroni, they married in 1961. When his teacher Arrigo Pola moved to Japan, Pavarotti became a student of Ettore Campogalliani, who at that time was teaching Pavarotti's childhood friend, Mirella Freni, whose mother worked with Luciano's mother in the cigar factory. Like Pavarotti, Freni went on to become a successful opera singer. During his years of musical study, Pavarotti held part-time jobs in order to sustain himself – first as an elementary school teacher and as an insurance salesman; the first six years of study resulted all in small towns and without pay. When a nodule developed on his vocal cords, causing a "disastrous" concert in Ferrara, he decided to give up singing.
Pavarotti attributed his immediate improvement to the psychological release connected with this decision. Whatever the reason, the nodule not only disappeared but, as he related in his autobiography: "Everything I had learned came together with my natural voice to make the sound I had been struggling so hard to achieve". Pavarotti began his career as a tenor in smaller regional Italian opera houses, making his debut as Rodolfo in La bohème at the Teatro Municipale in Reggio Emilia in April 1961, he made his first international appearance in La traviata in Yugoslavia. Early in his career, on 23 February 1963, he debuted at the Vienna State Opera in the same role. In March and April 1963 Vienna saw Pavarotti again as Duca di Mantova in Rigoletto; the same year saw his first concert outside Italy when he sang in Dundalk, Ireland for the St Cecilia's Gramophone Society and his Royal Opera House debut, where he replaced an indisposed Giuseppe Di Stefano as Rodolfo. While successful, Pavarotti's early roles did not propel him into the stardom that he would enjoy.
An early coup involved his connection with Joan Sutherland, who in 1963 had sought a young tenor taller than herself to take along on her tour to Australia. With his commanding physical presence, Pavarotti proved ideal; the two sang some forty perfo
La Scala is an opera house in Milan, Italy. The theatre was inaugurated on 3 August 1778 and was known as the Nuovo Regio Ducale Teatro alla Scala; the premiere performance was Antonio Salieri's Europa riconosciuta. Most of Italy's greatest operatic artists, many of the finest singers from around the world, have appeared at La Scala; the theatre is regarded as one of the leading opera and ballet theatres in the world and is home to the La Scala Theatre Chorus, La Scala Theatre Ballet and La Scala Theatre Orchestra. The theatre has an associate school, known as the La Scala Theatre Academy, which offers professional training in music, stage craft and stage management. La Scala's season opens on Saint Ambrose's Day, the feast day of Milan's patron saint. All performances must end before midnight, long operas start earlier in the evening when necessary; the Museo Teatrale alla Scala, accessible from the theatre's foyer and a part of the house, contains a collection of paintings, statues and other documents regarding La Scala's and opera history in general.
La Scala hosts the Accademia d'Arti e Mestieri dello Spettacolo. Its goal is to train a new generation of young musicians, technical staff, dancers. A fire destroyed the previous theatre, the Teatro Regio Ducale, on 25 February 1776, after a carnival gala. A group of ninety wealthy Milanese, who owned private boxes in the theatre, wrote to Archduke Ferdinand of Austria-Este asking for a new theatre and a provisional one to be used while completing the new one; the neoclassical architect Giuseppe Piermarini produced an initial design but it was rejected by Count Firmian. A second plan was accepted in 1776 by Empress Maria Theresa; the new theatre was built on the former location of the church of Santa Maria alla Scala, from which the theatre gets its name. The church was deconsecrated and demolished and, over a period of two years, the theatre was completed by Pietro Marliani, Pietro Nosetti and Antonio and Giuseppe Fe; the theatre had a total of "3,000 or so" seats organized into 678 pit-stalls, arranged in six tiers of boxes above, the'loggione' or two galleries.
Its stage is one of the largest in Italy. Building expenses were covered by the sale of boxes, which were lavishly decorated by their owners, impressing observers such as Stendhal. La Scala soon became the preeminent meeting place for wealthy Milanese people. In the tradition of the times, the main floor had no chairs and spectators watched the shows standing up; the orchestra was in full sight. Above the boxes, La Scala has a gallery—called the loggione—where the less wealthy can watch the performances; the gallery is crowded with the most critical opera aficionados, known as the loggionisti, who can be ecstatic or merciless towards singers' perceived successes or failures. For their failures, artists receive a "baptism of fire" from these aficionados, fiascos are long remembered. For example, in 2006, tenor Roberto Alagna was booed off the stage during a performance of Aida; this forced his understudy, Antonello Palombi, to replace him mid-scene without time to change into a costume. As with most of the theatres at that time, La Scala was a casino, with gamblers sitting in the foyer.
Conditions in the auditorium, could be frustrating for the opera lover, as Mary Shelley discovered in September 1840: At the Opera they were giving Otto Nicolai's Templario. As is well known, the theatre of La Scala serves, not only as the universal drawing-room for all the society of Milan, but every sort of trading transaction, from horse-dealing to stock-jobbing, is carried on in the pit. La Scala was illuminated with 84 oil lamps mounted on the stage and another thousand in the rest of theatre. To prevent the risks of fire, several rooms were filled with hundreds of water buckets. In time, oil lamps were replaced by gas lamps, these in turn were replaced by electric lights in 1883; the original structure was renovated in 1907. In 1943, during World War II, La Scala was damaged by bombing, it was rebuilt and reopened on 11 May 1946, with a memorable concert conducted by Arturo Toscanini—twice La Scala's principal conductor and an associate of the composers Giuseppe Verdi and Giacomo Puccini—with a soprano solo by Renata Tebaldi, which created a sensation.
La Scala hosted the first productions of many famous operas, had a special relationship with Verdi. For several years, Verdi did not allow his work to be played here, as some of his music had been modified by the orchestra; this dispute originated in a disagreement over the production of his Giovanna d'Arco in 1845. The premiere of his last opera, Falstaff was given in the theatre. In 1982, the Filarmonica della Scala was established, drawing its members from the larger pool of musicians that comprise the Orchestra della Scala; the theatre underwent a major renovation from early 2002 to late 2004. The theatre closed following the traditional 7 December 2001 se