The Municipal (or City) Theatre of Piacenza was inaugurated in 1804. Designed by Lotario Tomba for a group of nobles from Piacenza, following the fire that destroyed the Cittadella theatre on December 24th, 1798.
The construction works started in September 1803 and on September 10th 1804 the “New” theatre was inaugurated with a pompous ceremony and the performance of Zamori – a drama known as l’Eroe delle Indie – especially composed for the occasion by the Bavarian musician Giovanni Simone Mayr. The feast involved the whole city with cattle fairs, fireworks, a pageant in Piazza Cavalli, dancing and horse races.
The theatre, which counts over 1000 seats including stalls, an upper circle, a balcony and three galleries, is decorated in neoclassical style recalling that of Scala theatre in Milan. Nevertheless, differently from Piermarini’s project for Scala – where stalls are distributed on a shape of horseshoe – Tomba worked out a plan on three quarters of ellipsis since in his opinion this design was better suited to the laws of optics and acoustics.
Regarding the indoor structure, the New Theatre was born as neoclassic but in 1830, Alessandro Sanquirico – Scala’s stage designer- was appointed to revisit the interior decorations ot Piacenza’s Theatre. Balconies were then all painted in light blue with small golden stars all over. Moreover, the façade was added in the same year but its actual look is the result of Sanquirico re-elaboration of Tomba’s initial project, revisiting the neoclassical style. The area preceding the porch, also present at the Scala Theatre, for Piacenza’s Theatre becomes a functional space: carriages used to stop there, as witnessed by the remains of the specially paved street for such means of transport, thus protecting hosts from rain as they entered the building. The lower part of the façade, decorated with rusticated masonry, forms the basis for a ionic colonnade and a beautiful stone balcony.