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From 1973 to today
6.1 The inauguration
The new Teatro Regio was inaugurated on 10 April 1973 with Giuseppe Verdi’s opera I vespri siciliani, in the first and only direction by Maria Callas and Giuseppe Di Stefano. The direction of the orchestra was entrusted to Vittorio Gui, the scenes and costumes bore the name of the well-known painter and sculptor Aligi Sassu, while the choreography was by the great Serge Lifar.
At the same time, at the Piccolo Regio, Vittorio Gassman staged the performance-saga Il trasloco, a poetry recital alternating with improvisations and debates that went on for several days.
6.2 Musical odyssey
After celebrating in 1990 the 250th anniversary of the founding with a large exhibit supplied with an enormous catalogue, the Teatro Regio was enhanced by a new external “curtain”, the bronze gate Musical odyssey. It is the work of the celebrated artist sculptor Umberto Mastroianni, who was educated in Turin along with his great friend Carlo Mollino and who had his first important artistic experiences alongside Felice Casorati, Massimo Mila, Ettore Sottsass e Guido Seborga.
6.3 Centenary of Bohème
1 February 1996 was the centenary of Giacomo Puccini’s Bohème, the absolute première performance of which the Regio had the honour of hosting with the direction of Arturo Toscanini. For the occasion Mirella Freni and Luciano Pavarotti met on the Torinese sets, under the baton of Daniel Oren.
The show, directed by Giuseppe Patroni Griffi, was broadcast live on Rai Due television, in prime time, with an audience of over three million viewers. The Piccolo Regio theatre was renamed Piccolo Regio Giacomo Puccini on the same occasion in honour of the composer who had seen several of his operas commence in Torino.
6.4 Acoustic restoration and anniversaries of the new Regio
In the summer of 1997, the auditorium of the Regio underwent an important restoration planned by the German firm Müller BBM , for the acoustic part, and by the Gabetti & Isola firm for the architectural restyling. The intervention, reversible in each part, involved wood-panelling the auditorium, slightly modifying the external walls and stage and installing a new proscenium over Mollino’s structure, which caused an increase in the acoustic connection between orchestra pit and stage. The achieved result was particularly appreciated by Claudio Abbado who, in May 1997, directed the Berliner Philharmoniker in Verdi’s Otello with stage direction by Ermanno Olmi.
That opera was also broadcast live by Rai Due to very favourable reviews.
The 25th anniversary of the birth of the new Teatro Regio was celebrated in 1998 with D’Opera, an exhibition of scenery, props, machinery and costumes mounted in the suggestive spaces of the Cavallerizza and attended by over 70,000 visitors.
The Baroque views of the old Torinese military quarter located just behind piazza Castello paid tribute to the extremely suggestive setting. Five years later, the first thirty years of the history of the new Teatro were celebrated with a roundtable discussion, the inauguration of the Historical Archive Foyer and finally with the exhibit Trenta Stagioni mounted in the courtly halls of the State Archive. Photos, videos and recordings revived the many suggestive and important moments of operatic productions since 1973, and also cast a glance at the technological equipment the Teatro is equipped with.
6.5 The successes of the Regio in numbers
A few numbers make it possible to fully understand the extraordinary success achieved by the Teatro Regio in recent years: with an annual budget of 50 million euros in 2007, over 100 operas and ballets were staged at the Teatro Regio for more than 170,000 paying spectators along with 700 other events of various kinds if one considers the activities carried out at the Piccolo Regio; 50,000 students participated in projects at the Opera School and tens of thousands of people attended free events.
Since 1998, the Italian Opera Organizations have legally become private-law foundations. This has made broader management possible and above all has been the incentive for finding partners from the world of business, industry and finance. These partners have been able to participate more actively in the life of the Teatro through the investment of economic resources that permit an increase in productivity and in the quality of the staging, created ever more often in the stage set workshops of the Regio.
6.6 The last decade
For more than ten years now the Regio has hosted the most important international dance companies during its seasons: the Royal Ballet di Londra, the Béjart Ballet Lausanne, the Bolshoj Ballet of Moscow, Mikhail Baryshnikov’s White Oak Dance Project, the Kirov Ballet of the Mariinskij Theatre of St Petersburg. Finally, it is impossible to mention all the great protagonists – directors, orchestra conductors and interpreters – who have performed at the Teatro Regio, lending ever more prestige to the shows and helping to ensure that the Teatro has an undisputed leading role in the artistic panorama in Italy and elsewhere as well.
With the new millennium, the Teatro Regio has set itself an ambitious objective: Europe. A process already underway intends to perfect the technical, organizational and productive structures of the Teatro, intensifying the number of co-productions and collaborations with other European musical organizations. This path has led to the realization of certain structural improvements (including the aforementioned acoustic restoration of the auditorium), has produced extraordinary shows from the point of view of direction as well as music, and finally has brought an artist of international prestige like Gianandrea Noseda to take on the position of Music Director of the Teatro, a presence that launches the Regio into the international limelight once again.