Feronia Theatre

In 1732, when the ancient Sala degli spettacoli (Hall of performances) was demolished as a consequence of the destruction of the Palazzo Consolare (Consular Palace), the municipal Council established a theatrical Condominium that in 1740 entrusted the construction of the new theatre to the architect Domenico Bianconi from Fano, who designed a bell-shaped wooden structure, a wide stage, three tiers of daises and a gallery with columned balcony. The Teatro de’ Condomini (the Condominium Theatre) was finished being built and inaugurated in 1747. In 1823 the wooden structure was considered to be outdated and unsafe owing to the fire danger, therefore the Theatrical Society entrusted the design of a new brickwork theatre to the local young architect Ireneo Aleandri (1795 – 1885), whereas the pictorial decoration was entrusted to Filippo Bibiena and Raffaele Fogliardi; the preparatory drawings of paintings, which decorate the vault and the bozzetto of the curtain, are attributed to the local painter Filippo Bigioli (1798 – 1878) instead, and then they were painted by Raffaele Fogliardi.
The curtain, which is considered a significant example of Neoclassical art, portrays a subject suggested by a group of intellectuals of that time. Since they supposed that a temple dedicated to the goddess Feronia was present along the ancient Settempeda road, they suggested to depict the priestess Camurena Cellerina performing the ritual of liberation of a slave in front of such a temple, while on the left side the sacrifice of an ox is occurring and on the right side the Potenza river is painted according to the iconography adopted for the Sacred Tiber. Thus, they decided to name the theatre after the goddess. The theatre was solemnly inaugurated in 1828, closed in 1961 as it was considered precarious, and, after long and difficult restauration works, it was finally reopened in 1985 by a lyrical and instrumental concert of the Vienna Philharmonic and the participation of the soprano Katia Ricciarelli.
For guided tours, please contact the local tourist office at 0733 638414.

The Attractions of San Severino Marche

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Itineraries to visit San Severino Marche