The Theatre de la Sena, PDF Print E-mail

The Theatre de la Sena, or rather “of the scene”, is found on the first floor of the Palazzo della
Ragione, a Fifteenth-Century building constructed sometime after 1510 and the destruction of the pre-existing structure by the troops of Maximilian I of Habsburg  and distinguished by the
Palladian arcade from 1558. Initially used for meetings of Feltre’s Main Council (Maggior Consiglio), the main chamber was turned into a public theatre in 1684 with the establishment of a Social Theatre with two types of upper circle box, as private property, belonging to noble families and citizens. Already from 1621 “…a Sena (or scene) to recite comedies during the Carnival” was held. In the Eighteenth century, the theatre was very active. In 1729, Carlo Goldoni put on “The Good Father” and “La cantatrice”. In 1741 a third type of box was added. On the 26th of July 1769 lightning struck the theatre during a performance, causing the death of five people, dozens of people were injured and the building was damaged, so that the chamber was later only used sporadically. In 1802 the Venetian architect Gianantonio Selva, who had already won the contract to design the Fenice in Venice, was put in charge of the radical rebuilding of the location. Whereas the pictorial decorations (of which the stage curtain and the velarium ceiling are particularly outstanding examples), were undertaken in 1843 by Tranquillo Orsi, artist and designer of the neo-classical decor of the Fenice in 1837. The theatre was closed in 1929 because it did not conform to new rules concerning public safety. In 1971, after a publicity campaign by the local section of Italia nostra (Our Italy), the first attempts at restoration were begun which would proceed with new initiatives until the nineties. The work is in its final phases thanks to an agreement signed in  2000 by the Comune di Feltre and The Superintendence of the Architectural Heritage and Countryside of the provinces of Venice, Belluno, Padua and  Treviso and today the  Theatre della Sena offers visitors the unique opportunity to re-enter the lost Fenice.


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