Teatro Sociale - Theatre of the Society • • Visit Bergamo

Teatro Sociale - Theatre of the Society

Description

There is no porch or colonnade at the entrance of the Teatro Sociale, because the street is too narrow: nevertheless, this place is extremely surprising. Once you stepped in, you enter a magical, cosy and refined setting, warmed by the wooden balustrades and the beams of the ceiling.

The boxes’ vertical layout features three orders plus a fourth gallery, visually representing the old hierarchical groups.

The architect Leonardo Pollack was asked to design this kind of structure by the aristocratic sponsors of the theatre, as to underline the class differences of that time. In fact, the “Teatro della Società” (“Theatre of Society”), as it was originally called, was born to face a challenge: containing the constant and relentless loss of prestige of Città Alta – the Upper Town – in the favour of the Lower Bergamo’s districts.

Despite its splendour, the theatre presence wasn’t enough to reverse the course of history.


The Teatro della Società, currently known as Teatro Sociale, was inaugurated in 1808 in order to contain the success of the Teatro Riccardi, today’s Teatro Donizetti, located in Lower Bergamo.

Nevertheless, the Sociale wasn’t able to prevent the commercial, political and cultural activities from migrating outside the Walls in a few years from then.

The master of the designer Pollack was the renowned architect Piermarini, who also created the Scala Opera House in Milan. The parterre layout isn’t horseshoe-like (the most common during that time), but oval. The matching with the vertical design of the 86 boxes is probably the most original aspect of the plan; the wooden balustrades follow a continuous line, similar to the Scala’s, creating a classical and harmonious look.

Around the 1900 and during the first decade of the XX Century, the Teatro Sociale also hosted new genres such as the operetta, or even some gramophone shows (1898) and cinema (from 1908). In spite of a few good seasons in 1915 and in the early Twenties, en 1932 the theatre closed down. After several changes in ownership, in 1974 the Municipality of Bergamo purchased the building, which was secured in the following years. 

Between 2006 and 2009, the theatre was completely recovered: the foyer’s floor was restored; the walls, the ceiling and the new entry door were renovated.

Besides, the first three box orders were refurbished, totalling 500 seats, adding a reinforcement steel structure to the wooden one. For what concerns the fourth order, the gallery, a strengthening will be implemented in the next years in order to open it to the public.

Last but not least, a modern stage machinery has been set up, along with a new stage and a new fly system, while the orchestra pit has been provided with a rising three-levels platform.
Today, the Teatro Sociale is working at full capacity, thanks to a rich, original and interesting programme, ranging from drama to contemporary experimentations and music. You can visit it when no mounting or special events are scheduled, by prior arrangement.

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There is no porch or colonnade at the entrance of the Teatro Sociale, because the street is too narrow: nevertheless, this place is extremely surprising. Once you stepped in, you enter a magical, cosy and refined setting, warmed by the wooden balustrades and the beams of the ceiling.

The boxes’ vertical layout features three orders plus a fourth gallery, visually representing the old hierarchical groups.

The architect Leonardo Pollack was asked to design this kind of structure by the aristocratic sponsors of the theatre, as to underline the class differences of that time. In fact, the “Teatro della Società” (“Theatre of Society”), as it was originally called, was born to face a challenge: containing the constant and relentless loss of prestige of Città Alta – the Upper Town – in the favour of the Lower Bergamo’s districts.

Despite its splendour, the theatre presence wasn’t enough to reverse the course of history.


The Teatro della Società, currently known as Teatro Sociale, was inaugurated in 1808 in order to contain the success of the Teatro Riccardi, today’s Teatro Donizetti, located in Lower Bergamo.

Nevertheless, the Sociale wasn’t able to prevent the commercial, political and cultural activities from migrating outside the Walls in a few years from then.

The master of the designer Pollack was the renowned architect Piermarini, who also created the Scala Opera House in Milan. The parterre layout isn’t horseshoe-like (the most common during that time), but oval. The matching with the vertical design of the 86 boxes is probably the most original aspect of the plan; the wooden balustrades follow a continuous line, similar to the Scala’s, creating a classical and harmonious look.

Around the 1900 and during the first decade of the XX Century, the Teatro Sociale also hosted new genres such as the operetta, or even some gramophone shows (1898) and cinema (from 1908). In spite of a few good seasons in 1915 and in the early Twenties, en 1932 the theatre closed down. After several changes in ownership, in 1974 the Municipality of Bergamo purchased the building, which was secured in the following years. 

Between 2006 and 2009, the theatre was completely recovered: the foyer’s floor was restored; the walls, the ceiling and the new entry door were renovated.

Besides, the first three box orders were refurbished, totalling 500 seats, adding a reinforcement steel structure to the wooden one. For what concerns the fourth order, the gallery, a strengthening will be implemented in the next years in order to open it to the public.

Last but not least, a modern stage machinery has been set up, along with a new stage and a new fly system, while the orchestra pit has been provided with a rising three-levels platform.
Today, the Teatro Sociale is working at full capacity, thanks to a rich, original and interesting programme, ranging from drama to contemporary experimentations and music. You can visit it when no mounting or special events are scheduled, by prior arrangement.