Via del Teatro, Amelia, (Terni)
“Sociale” Theater The Teatro Sociale was instituted with the initiative of a group of nobles and bourgeois people from Amelia in 1780. The theater is extraordinarily similar—in architectural style, structuring and design—to the Teatro La Fenice of Venice, which was designed by the Perugian academic Gian Antonio Selva, who was a colleague at the Academy of Design of the Count Stefano Cansacchi, the architect who designed the Teatro Sociale. In 1783, the essential structure was raised, as is indicated in the entablature above the main entrance of the theater, where the motto “HONESTO CIVIUM OBLECTAMENTO”—for the pleasure of the townspeople—admonishes. The orchestra pit dates from 1823 and was opened to respond to the new needs of Lyric Opera. In 1866, the boxes of the proscenium—the theater, apart from the loggia, has 50 boxes available distributed in three orders—were realized. Between 1880 and 1886, the decorations and the frescoes of Domenico Bruschi—active in theatrical decorations, as in the Caio Melisso of Spoleto—were executed. Of the same artist are the decorations of the stage curtain with the splendid Siege of Amelia by Frederick I, Barbarossa, and the vault ceiling of the hall called Salone del Ridotto, famous for its malicious perspective trompe-l’œil. It was restructured between 1982 and 1985 with a huge financial contribution of the Società Teatrale. In December 1995 it was reopened to the public. Amelia’s Theater is one of the rarest examples of what remains of 18th century theaters, all made in wood, from the structures to the scenic machines and mechanisms, which have all worked perfectly during the course of its history. The Teatro Sociale is still today property of the Società Teatrale, which was founded for the purpose of its construction. It has hosted almost all the major lyrics of the 18th and 19th century Italian repertoire with the participation of the most important Italian and foreign artists, not counting the symphonic orchestra and chamber music performances. It is also worth mentioning its wide stage, of notable height that has been used as a scene for 42 movies, and some of them are very popular like the “Marchese del Grillo” with Alberto Sordi as the main actor, or the “Pinocchio” of Comencini with Nino Manfredi.