- Historical event:
- 3 August 1778
- The della Scala family was at one time the most powerful in the whole of Italy. It is interesting that an opera composed by Antonio Salieri (a famous “competitor” of Mozart) premiered at the opening of the opera house.
This day marked the solemn opening of one of the most famous opera houses in the world, the “Scala” in Milan.
Its original name was “Nuovo Regio Ducale Teatro alla Scala“, which could be translated as “The New Royal Ducal Theater Scala”. The name “Scala” originates from the fact that the house was built on the location of a former church, the Santa Maria alla Scala. In turn, that church was named after the wife of the medieval Milanese ruler who had it built.
Namely, the wife in question was a member of the powerful della Scala family (also known as Scaligeri), which was very influential in northern Italy in the Middle Ages (it ruled Verona for a long time, and at one time also ruled Padua, Vicenza, Treviso, Brescia, Parma, and Lucca). In fact, the della Scala family was at one point the most powerful one in the whole of Italy.
It is interesting that Europa riconosciuta an opera composed by Antonio Salieri premiered at the opening of the opera house.
Salieri is best known from the various depictions of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart’s life story, especially from the fictionalized version shown in Miloš Forman’s Amadeus (1984), which won 8 Academy Awards.