A Great 19th-Century Theatre House Still Awaiting Reclamation
The city theatre house on Via Aurelia in Finalmarina is dedicated to Genoese violinist Camillo Sivori, a pupil of Nicolò Paganini’s. Built after 1863 and opened on 20th December 1868, the Sivori Theatre house was intended to meet the local population’s increasing demand for entertainment.
The new great theatre house of Italian design, which partly replaced the Aycardi Theatre built in Finalborgo in 1804, not only proves how important the domineering local aristocracy and bourgeoisie had become, but also shows how the town chose to project an image of cultural prestige.
MORE INFORMATION – Sivori Theatre
The ground floor of the building’s refined neoclassical facade features five portals set within a squared-block ashlar masonry surface surmounted by a row of windows separated by Ionic order pilasters. Each window is surmounted by a broken pediment containing the bust of a famous poet at the summit of the tympanum. The parapets below each window are decorated with a delicate stucco-work motif of musician amorini (or cupids playing musical instruments). The upper section of the facade was added in 1879 and contains stucco-work of the Allegories of Music and Theatre produced by Antonio Brilla as well as the town’s coat of arms flanked by female figures and, again, a lion on either side.
The Sivori could seat up to 400 people in the stalls, two tiers of boxes and balcony (or gallery), and provided a wide range of music and opera until it was closed in the last century due to safety reasons.
The auditorium is in the shape of a horseshoe and entirely made of wood with elaborate decorative wood-work between each box and carved caryatids supporting the proscenium [t.n.: arch separating the stage from the auditorium].
The original 19th century stage curtain – made by Giovanni Quinzio (1832-1918) from Genoa – depicting the Triumph of Camillo Sivori as he is welcomed among the great musicians by his maestro Nicolò Paganini, is currently housed in the auditorium of the monastery of Santa Caterina in Finalborgo. Finally, the ceiling was painted by Luigi Baroni in 1868 with images of the Allegories of Music and Theatre.
A complex restoration project is currently underway, and the theatre will not be completed for some time.
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