The City of Fermo
A destiny marked by fire unites some of the most famous theatres in history: from the Globe Theatre in London, to the San Carlo in Naples, to La Fenice in Venice.
Aquila Theatre in Fermo, the largest and most famous of the seventy historic theatres in Marche, is no different.
The existing building, inaugurated in 1790, was conceived by Cosimo Morelli to substitute the preceding wooden theatre, which was devastated ten years earlier by a fire (they conserved the designs of the layout and the boxes). The architect, who had already created the theatres of Osimo and Macerata, designed a neoclassical theatre with an oval layout, five rows of boxes and the ‘three mouthed’ stage, which had already been modified in 1797 by painter Giuseppe Lucatelli and was then substituted with a more canonical and unique proscenium. In 1830, the renovation of the theatre was completed by the architect Pietro Ghinelli, who had previously devised the Muse Theatre in Ancona and gave the Aquila Theatre its present structure: 124 boxes with a capacity of a thousand and a stage with a unique opening measuring 350m2, as well as five rows of boxes from the layout of the original project. The vault of the theatre symbolising the Gods of Olympus, the Graces, the six nocturnal dancers intent on listening to Apollo and the curtain depicting Harmonia delivering the zither to the spirit of Fermo, were all created by Luigi Cochetti, whilst Alessandro Sanquirico of Verona, the greatest set designer of the era, prepared the backdrops for the theatre, four of which are still kept in the building’s warehouse. The exquisite gilded iron chandelier with 56 arms, decorated with wooden and crystal leaves, was ordered in Paris in 1830 and still shines today from the centre of the auditorium, famous for its perfect acoustics.
The works of opera and prose, and the artists of the nineteenth century that walked the boards of its stage, made Aquila Theatre one of the liveliest cultural centres in all of Europe.
After a long period of abandonment, it is credit to the responsible restoration work, fostered by Mayor Hector Fedeli and the Department of Public Works in 1997, that Aquila Theatre has successfully recaptured the limelight, nationally and internationally, just as it did in the preceding centuries. Today, it is one of the most precious historic theatres on the peninsular.
Special thanks to
Municipality of Fermo
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