The Puccini Theatre is an architectural masterpiece and location for the symposia of Merano WineFestival
The Puccini Theatre in Merano is an architectural masterpiece in the heart of the city. It is located in Piazza Teatro, between Corso Libertà and Ponte Teatro and you can get there easily from the Kurhaus. It is the location for conferences, symposia and other side events of the Merano WineFestival.
The architecture of the theatre
The Puccini Theatre is very rich in particular architectural details. Its ceiling is elaborated with stucco and golden ornaments. The theatre room offers a prestigious setting for theatrical and opera performances, concerts, cabarets, readings, presentations, cinema and of course conferences.
Its armchairs are salmon-colored and offer 296 seats in the stalls, on the stages and in the gallery. And the color of the curtain is red and gold, to underline the elegance of the place. During the breaks, the meeting point is in the foyer on the first floor or, on warmer evenings, on the terrace. With this elegance, the Puccini Theatre is the ideal location for the conferences and symposia of the Merano WineFestival because it reflects at its fullest the motto excellence is an attitude!
The history of the theatre of Merano
In 1870 the first tourist development began in Merano and, consequently, the first building and architectural development began. So, the remains of the city walls were torn down and the Passeggiata Lungo Passirio was the meeting point for the tourists and guests of the thermal baths. At that time the main attractions were the Kurmittelhaus with its famous baths, and the Kurhaus with its stunning mirror room. The only thing still missing at that time was a theatre, so the municipal administration entrusted the construction of the Puccini Theatre to Martin Dülfer, a famous architect from Munich.
Teatro Puccini was inaugurated on December 1st, 1900 on the occasion of a performance of Goethe. It had its company which attracted artists and musicians from all corners of the world. The company lasted until the outbreak of the World War One. Giacomo Puccini who visited Merano in 1923, is the artist who gave name to the theatre.
In the 1920s, the Teatro had lost its theatre company, so German opera, ensembles of prose and operetta alternated on the stage. Only thanks to the cinema in the thirties, the theatre began to attract many tourists again. At the same time, however, the structure needed renovations which were difficult to achieve due to the outbreak of World War Two.
The turning point of the theatre
The turning point came in the fifties when the performances in German by the “Südtiroler Landesbühne” resumed, but later, not having their own company, only guest theatre groups performed. In the 1960s, there was a fire in the theatre and it was only reopened on November 28, 1978 after a restoration. From that moment on the Puccini Theatre hosted performances by Italian and German companies, but also productions by local amateur groups.
The last restorations date back to the year 2000 with the aim of restoring its original color to the structure. On December 1st 2000 the 100th anniversary of the theatre was celebrated with numerous events. The theatre of the city of Merano is today an appreciated event location and, together with the Kurhaus, is one of the most sought-after structures in South Tyrol.