Teatro del Giglio or the Theatre of Giglio is one of the most ancient and historic opera house in city center. Giglio has been the center of cultural and artistic activities in Lucca for past many centuries. It was duly recognized as Tradition Theater or Teatro di Tradizione in the year 1985. It was built around three centuries ago. Lucca city’s General Council of Republic or Consiglio della Republica di Lucca established it through a decree that provided for a public theater. The center since has witnessed intense and vivid artistic and cultural activities.
The earlier name of the center was Teatro Pubblico or the Public Theater. It was built and inaugurated in the year of 1675. The whole building was later destroyed because of accidental fire and was rebuilt later on. Napoleon’s invasion also caused huge damage to the building. The new center was built in the year 1818 by Giovanni Andrea Lazzarini, who was an Italian painter of the 19th century and was born at Pesaro. On the portico, you will find the balustrade pilasters. Under the building is a tympanum (a semicircular decorative surface of the wall).
Giglio means Lily (the flower). The name has been here derived from the symbol Fleur-de-lis or the stylized lily. Fleur-de-lis was the symbol of the Bourbon heraldic-shield of Maria Luisa of Bourbon, who was the Duchess of Lucca during the 19th century. Luigi Gatani was the painter of the interiors of the building. The theater of the building was painted by another Italian painter Federico Tarquini. Gas lightings were added to the theater in the year 1872 while electric lights were installed in the year 1911. The entertainment center was closed fully during two years of the 1st World War. Lots of renovations and refurbishments were done again during the decade of the 1980s.
Numerous concerts, events, melodramas and dance recitals have been hosted at Teatro Di Giglio in the 19th century. Gilbert Duprez (singer and composer), Fanny Tacchinardi Persiani (composer), Maria Malibran (opera singer) and other great names of the 19th century have performed at the theater. The great composer Giacomo Puccini whose operas are amongst the most important operas of all times, have staged some of his most famous works at the theatre as well.
Seasons at the theater
The activity of Teatro del Giglio is divided into different seasons. The lyrical season is the first season and inaugurates the theatre activity. After the season other seasons like Prose, Dance and Musica seasons commence. These three seasons run for the winter months and get completed during the spring season. The aperitif season and concerts take place at around spring and during falls.
A number of training activities and art learning sessions are held at the center. Laboratories, initiatives and other events and activities are organized by schools and the events and concerts take place at the Children’s theater called Teatro Ragazzi. The teaching activities also have a moral character. These didactic activities are supported by the library that is located in the building and the center itself. Many school students and other people borrow books from the library and gain more intensive knowledge about the subjects related to arts and entertainment.
Teatro del Carretto
A company by the name Teatro del Carretto also runs at the theater. It was formed in the year 1983 by a partnership between Graziano Gregori and Maria Grazia Cipriani. For the past 20 years, the company has produced world-famous shows like Snowhite, Romeo and Juliet, Beauty and the Beast, Odyssey, Midsummer Night’s Dream, Hamlet, Pinocchio and more.