The Teatro Regio (‘Royal Theatre’) is a prominent opera house and opera company in Turin, Italy. Its season runs from October to June with the presentation of eight or nine operas given from five to twelve performances of each.
Several buildings provided venues for operatic productions in Turin from the mid-16th century, but it was not until 1713 that a proper opera house was considered, and under the architect Filippo Juvarra planning began. However, the cornerstone was not laid until the reign of Charles Emmanuel III in 1738 after Juvarra’s death. The work was supervised by Benedetto Alfieri until the theatre was completed.
Following a fire, a national competition was launched to find an architect. However, due to the war and the overall financial situation, the foundation stone was laid on 25 September 1963. Even then, work did not start until September 1967 under architect Carlo Mollino.
The rebuilt theatre, with its striking contemporary interior design but hidden behind the original facade, was inaugurated on 10 April 1973 with a production of Verdi’s I Vespri Siciliani directed by Maria Callas and Giuseppe Di Stefano.
The new house seats 1,750 and is elliptical in shape with a large orchestra level and 37 boxes around its perimeter. An acoustic shell was added to improve its sound.
Born in Turin, Piedmont, Carlo Mollino was the son of Eugenio Mollino, an engineer. As he grew up, Carlo Mollino became interested in a variety of topics that were as outrageous as his art, such as design, architecture, the occult, and race cars.
He was once credited as saying, “Everything is permissible as long as it is fantastic.” That credo was certainly reflected throughout his body of work. Mollino’s architecture and furniture are famous for their ability to enable occupants to manipulate volumes at a whim.
Carlo Mollino died in 1973, while still working.