Sicily, land of culture. Here is one of the main resources of this island! Traditions and modernity live together and performing arts are the best example to describe this perfect match. Sicilian Secrets makes you discover some of the most famous Sicilian theaters, take note because they can become part of your itinerary.
Have you ever attended a performance at Sicilian theaters? From Palermo to Catania, from Taormina to Segesta you have tons of opportunities to live an unforgettable experience. In Sicily, art is all around you…let’s start this journey together.
Teatro Massimo, Palermo
Teatro Massimo in Palermo is one of the most important Sicilian theaters that is famous all-around Europe. It’s the biggest opera house in Italy and the third largest one in Europe after the Opéra Garnier in Paris, and the Vienna State Opera, renowned for its perfect acoustics. The opera house was designed by the Italian architect Giovan Battista Filippo Basile, and finally inaugurated on May 16th 1897 with a performance of Falstaff by Verdi conducted by Leopoldo Mugnone. Whoever looks at this theater, can see through the neoclassical style of the main entrance, how Basile was strongly inspired by ancient and classical Sicilian architecture. Just a curiosity…it’s here where Francis Ford Coppola filmed the final part of The Godfather Part III in 1990!
Teatro Bellini, Catania
If you love opera, you cannot miss another gem among Sicilian theaters: Teatro Vincenzo Bellini in Catania. It was inaugurated on May 31st 1890 with a performance of Norma. Sicilian Baroque is the style used to decorate the building but inside you can see something special: the ceiling of the hall was painted by Ernesto Bellandi, depicting some scenes from four of Bellini’s most well-known operas. Music rules…this is the reason why in 1951, to celebrate the 150th anniversary of the birth of Bellini, Maria Callas performed Norma at the theater, repeating her success in 1952 and 1953.
Teatro Antico, Taormina
Close your eyes, it’s time to travel back in time! We are now in Taormina at the Ancient theatre, an ancient Greek theatre built in the 3rd century BC. This theatre is the second largest of its kind in Sicily after the one in Syracuse and is frequently used for opera and concerts, hosting many times some international celebrities such as Elton John, Liza Minnelli, Ben Harper and more. Most part of the original seats unfortunately disappeared, but the wall that surrounded the whole cavea is still preserved. Some portions of an old temple are visible too and nowadays have been converted into the small church of San Pancrazio. If you love cinema…Woody Allen shot here some scenes of his movie Mighty Aphrodite in 1995.
Teatro Andromeda, Santo Stefano Quisquinia
What happens if you have a vision and make it true? It happened in Santo Stefano Quisquinia (in the province of Agrigento) where the shepherd-artist Lorenzo Reina created Teatro Andromeda, in a unique location: a circular stage using some rocks as a seat. All these stones together reproduce the constellation of Andromeda…it looks simply magical. It’s an architectonic jewel that makes dream both the actors who perform and the audience! If you go there during summer solstice, you can see an amazing ‘light & shade’ effect created by the sun and some elements on the stage. You are going to plunge into a suggestive atmosphere in one of the most incredible Sicilian theaters that is also known to be the highest stone theater in the world…900 meters above sea level!