The Theater is named after the Church of St. Mary of the Stairs, demolished in the eighteenth century to build the "New Regio Ducal Theatre alla Scala", opened in 1778 with the musical drama of Antonio Salieri (Legnago 1750 - Vienna 1825) "Recognized Europe". The frontal view of the facade, with the gable topped with tiles, was made possible only after the opening of the Scala Square, in 1857. The Neoclassical decoration and layout of the rooms on the ground floor are not those provided by the original project of architect Piermarini (Foligno 1734-1808): by entering one of the five entrances, there are a room covered with a barrel vault and the foyer of the auditorium and the stage. The environment is divided, parallel to the facade, by a row of six high marble columns. The walls are decorated with stucco, with friezes and pilasters that support a rich entablature partly gilded, and mirrors. Even the original room was very different from today, curated by Luigi Canonica and the set designer Alessandro Sanquirico. The current pit was built at the beginning of the twentieth century. The six levels are divided into four tiers of boxes and two galleries: the first three orders contain thirty-six stages, the fourth-order it has thirty-nine. The decoration of the boxes was standardized in 1928 by Giordani (silk damask red). The most recent restoration (2002-2004) is work of Mario Botta, while the artistic direction was entrusted to Riccardo Muti. In the history of the theater had great success the "castrated" (Pacchierotti, Marchesi, Crescentini); regarding composers, as well as Salieri, are cited in the early years Cimarosa, Cherubini, Paër and Rossini. In the first half of the nineteenth century made their appearance Donizetti and Bellini; Giuseppe Verdi began there in 1839; after the unification of Italy, La Scala opened under the direction of Arturo Toscanini (Parma 1867 - New York 1957).