La Scala is quite rightly considered the most famous opera house in Italy. It was built near the Duomo Cathedral and opened on August 3, 1778. Originally, it was the center of social life of Milan, but eventually it gained worldwide recognition.
The building of the old Royal Ducal Theater of Milan burned down in 1776 following the carnival gala. In those years, Lombardy, with the capital in Milan, was under the rule of the Austro-Hungarian Empire. The Habsburgs have always patronized music, and Empress Maria Theresa, who ruled then, paid special attention to the development of arts in all corners of the empire.
She ordered to build a new large opera house on the former location of the church of Santa Maria alla Scala. This theater got its name from the church. The construction works was commissioned to the architect Giuseppe Permanini who estimated them at 1 million Italian liras. The money was given by 90 noble families of the city.
When clearing the foundation pit for the theater, a marble stone was found depicting a mime Pilad, which was very popular in the Ancient Rome. It was considered a good sign. Already two years later the construction was finished and La Scala was opened with the opera “Recognized Europe” by Salieri.
The building itself is recognized as one of the best examples of opera houses. It was designed in a strict, one might even say modest, neoclassical style, but the auditorium is luxurious. The arrangement of five tiers of loges in the auditorium was thought out to the smallest details, which was very important for the noble public. The auditorium has the shape of a horseshoe, that is, it is very roomy, but the view from all places is very good. In the middle of the facade above the entrance, a large portal was built for convenient carriage entry.