Teatro del Collegio di San Carlo
College of Nobles of Modena (now San Carlo) was founded in 1626 by Count Paolo Boschetti. It's very likely that the Boarding students have produced performances from the foundation of the said college, even if from the research conducted so far we know with certainty that regular activity took place only as of the end of the eighth decade of the seventeenth century. In particular, it is documented in 1688 a literary academy recited in the presence of the court, in a hall of the college, was intended to honor the birth of the son of Maria Beatrice d'Este and James Stuart, Duke of York. It seems that in college a real theater was inaugurated only in 1732. It appears that until, then, the boarders have staged their shows only in the two court theaters: Palazzo Ducale and the Piazza Grande (called Spelta). There are numerous testimonies of the annual Academy of Arts and Letters dates in these prestigious venues in which were performed recited actions, dancing, choruses, cantatas and interludes of arms. The dramatic canvases, almost always works of the College, were frequently mythological and allegorical plots and opposition alluding to characters and dynastic events. We recall, among others, a Pallas pronuba staged in the large courtyard of the college transformed appropriately in theater through ephemeral structures, in honor of the marriage of the Duke Rinaldo and Carlotta Felicita Brunswick Luneburg. In 1732 appears for the first time payments made by Giorgio Magnanini and his successor Marco Bianchi of Correggio, painted with decorations made for the theater hall and the other items in the building site of the college, expanded and renovated through the purchase of neighboring houses. In 1751, the college purchased the adjacent Osteria del Montone and home Bellicini making possible a significant expansion, radically changing with the restoration of 1929: it was changed orientation using the old hall as cavea for the new one, which is arranged to provide a deep stage and four boxes proscenium elegant profile, as well as a balcony, in correspondence of the second order, along the whole perimeter. The inauguration took place in conjunction with the baptism of Crown Prince Rinaldo (born in January will live a few months), with the staging of the tragedy "Muzio Scaevola". So, the carnival season went according intensive programming: each of the three dormitories presented a tragedy and a comedy, including "Mithridates" by Racine, "Poliuto" by Corneille, "Atreus and Thyestes" by Crebillon and "The Stunned" by Molière, demonstrating the great interest in the French theater, a tradition started at the beginning of the eighteenth century and inspired by Muratori. So much so that in the second half of that century, the Theatre of the College will become the center of primary importance for the diffusion of drama across the Alps. The arrival of the French troops in the Duchy of Modena have radically changed the Cisalpine Republic and the relationships and practices of the institutions related to the ancien regime. With the Restoration, activity in the Theater of the College resumes according to old patterns albeit sporadically. Subsequently, in the post-unification, the use of this theater, according to the original destination, is gradually decreasing: it tends to give stage performances only at the carnival, usually a comedy, a farce, dancing and chivalrous actions. The modern gymnastics, introduced in 1859 by the rector Luigi Spallanzani, is a discipline very much appreciated and has become the subject of visual representation and determine a partial transformation of the theater in the school gym. This arrangement is documented significantly in a historic photo of P. Orlandini (preserved in the Archives of the Board), the early twentieth century. At the end of the twenties the theater undergoes numerous works of restoration, directed by engineer Magiera. In the same period relies ceiling decoration of the hall to the local Art Institute: it is still on-site painting depicting Mercury Protector of the Studies and the Liberal Arts, enclosed in a frame in scagliola polilobata. The last renovations were made in 1989 by Uber Ferrari. Currently the theater, without the mezzanine, is used almost exclusively for conferences, conventions, rarely are held concerts of chamber music, while periodically holding the event "Handsfree", during which literary texts are read by professionals actors.