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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.