La Musica Lirica

A nearby town, Sant’ Agata Feltria, is home to one of the oldest still extant wooden theatres in Northern Italy: Teatro Angelo Mariani Sant’agata Feltria. Verdi himself premiered operas here. We didn’t tour to this theatre, but it was close enough that Candace (director of Figaro), Renee (set designer/TD), Anna (SM for Figaro), and myself drove up the next morning to see the space.

01 sant agata

Not the theatre yet, but a charming fountain we came upon as we left the parking lot.

01.5 sant agata

The front of the theatre.

02 sant agata

Once inside, you’re greeted by historic scenic art by Romolo Liverani.

04 sant agata

Renee holds up the monograph on the scenic artist. It wasn’t for sale, and we resisted the urge to steal it.

03 sant agata

Other drops were represented by smaller pictures of them.

05 sant agata

The drop currently hanging has actual peepholes worked into it so that actors could look out at the audience from backstage. Here’s Renee demonstrating.

2.5 sant agata

A slightly blurry photo of the stage.

06 sant agata

And a view from the stage. Note the meagre front of house lighting positions to the right and to the left.

06.5 sant agata

Note the tromp l’oeil work on the swag behind the blue curtain.

08 sant agata

And despite the fantastic scenic painting, the lighting was still on the primitive side. The First Electric with those ubiquitous PCs.

07 sant agata

Not much space over the stage, but those rafters are incredible.

09 sant agata

In the entrance, a preserved antique “No Smoking” sign.

10 sant agata

It was then time for lunch. Thank you, Candace!


That evening featured a performance in Novafeltria of La Cambiale di Matrimonio.

12 bad marble

Since we were fast approaching the end of the program, the next morning was spent beginning to clean the shop. There were plenty of left over pieces from years past that we were rather astounded by. Here’s what passed for marble. . .

13 bad chair

And we were all agreed that this was one of the most hideous pieces of stage furniture any of us had run across. Apparently this was put on stage for a previous production of Rigoletto.

15 shop cleaned 2

Much of that morning was also spent on our knees scrubbing the paint off the shop floor, but by the end of our efforts, the shop was spit spot. The executive of the school, Ubaldo, said it was the cleanest he’d ever seen it.

16 paint room cleaned

This was the room used as the paint shop. It also got thoroughly scrubbed. Always leave a space in better shape than you find it.

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