Bari, Teatro Petruzzelli
(foto di Fbio87 di Wikipedia in italiano, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=48157085)
The Teatro Petruzzelli is the fourth theatre in Italy in size and one of the most beautiful in Europe. It is nearly surprising that as early as the beginning of the 20th century, a small provincial town like Bari could boast a similar theatre, built to meet the cultural demand of people who deemed the old municipal theatre – dedicated to the musician Niccolò Piccinni – no longer sufficient. The Teatro Petruzzelli was inaugurated in 1903 with the performance Les Huguenots by Giacomo Meyerbeer. The theatre, enlivened by a very rich cultural program, with world-famous artists on its stage, is externally characterized by an eclectic façade that recalls classical style shapes and is enriched with Stile Liberty and Art Nouveau decoration. Inside the theatre, the foyer, abundantly decorated, could boast the frescoes by the Apulian painter Raffaele Armenise on its dome. They were destroyed during the terrible fire that demolished the theatre on October 27, 1991 at the end of the play Norma by Bellini. Only in 2009, after long restoration and age-old debates, which inflamed the city political life, the Teatro Petruzzelli was reopened to the public.