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The Civic Theatre
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The Civic Theatre is at the end of Via Garibaldi, facing the modern, white building of The Cassa di Risparmio bank. Midway throught the 19th century, also narni wanted its own opera house. The theatre already present for some time in the communal building was no longer sufficient, in terms of space and services, for this new form of entertainment. The wooden structures, the custom of smoking "zigari e pippe" (cigars and pipes) during the plays and the candle lighting were the source of frequent fires and continual rebuilding costs. it was decided to build a new theatre. The initiative was taken by a "theater company" formed by local people who, in exchange for a share of money, were entitled to own or use the stage (by turns). In October, 1840, the Town Council finally decided to built a new theater, and the work started in June 1845 with the demolition of the old houses located in the area destinated for the new building. It soon became clear that the costs had been severely underestimated and the Council was forced to pay for running the theatre and for the plays put on there. The building which should have been the "New Theatre" soon became the "Civic Theatre". Various members of the theatre board were also town councillors, which made it all much easier.

The inauguration took place on 3 May, 1856, the feast-day of S. Giovenale, the patron saint of the town and "centenary of Maria del Ponte" the opera put on that evening was no less than the "La Traviata" (at the time called "Violetta") by the extremely popular composer, Giuseppe Verdi. More than a success, it was the jubilant triumph of the people, who finally had a large, modern theatre in their town. Designed by the architect Giovanni Santini it would be a classic "Italian style theatre" with three tiers of boxes (17 per row), a gallery and stalls for the "common people" and dances, with 160 seats and rooms for the ticket office, wardrobe, bar, games rooms and foyer. A real theatre!

Further information: 0744 726362 - 3292506720

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