An opera house and company located on the Piazza Verdi in Palermo, Sicily, The Teatro Massimo Vittorio Emanuele was dedicated to King Victor Emanuel II. One of the biggest opera houses in Italy and the third largest in Europe, it provides its visitors the pleasure of feeling the bliss of divine music.
The Teatro Massimo Vittorio Emanuele’s exquisite façade is in the high neoclassical style. Elements of the Greek temples at Selinunte and Agrigento can be witnessed here and there. A grand evidence of the splendor of ancient and classical Sicilian architecture, the auditorium was originally designed to seat 3,000 people. But today it incorporates an audience of 1,350, with 7 tiers of boxes rising up around an inclined stage.
The house was closed down for restoration and renovations in 1974, and wide-spread corruption and nepotism made it take 23 years to finally become open to visitors again. But while the work was being done, Verdi’s Aida was performed in 1998.
The auditorium, while exquisite in its looks, endears itself to the hearts of all tourists visiting Italy through its perfect acoustics. Once plagued with various problems such as political meddling, budget deficits etc, the house is considered to be getting back on track under its part-English music director, Jan Latham Koenig.