The Teatro Rossini was inaugurated as the ‘Teatro del Sole’ (Theatre of the Sun) in 1637, during the pontificate of Urban VIII, who granted the old stables, built by Federico Ubaldo Della Rovere, as a public playhouse. The building underwent various transformations over the years; it was subjected to a thorough reconstruction by the architect Pietro Ghinelli from 1816 to 1818, the year in which it was inaugurated as ‘Teatro Nuovo’, with an exceptional production of La gazza ladra directed by Gioachino Rossini himself, already famous at just twenty seven. Of the old building there remains the rusticated portal by Filippo Terzi, which is still the main entrance. The plan is by Ghinelli, a neoclassical theatre ‘all’italiana’, planned on a horseshoe curve with four balconies; the curtain by the Milanese artist Angelo Monticelli was also put up at this time. The theatre received the name of Rossini in 1855. In 1934 the façade was rebuilt, the foyer modified and a large room added (now called ‘della Repubblica’) at the level of the third order of balconies. The last structural restoration was carried out during the 1970s, the theatre having been judged unsafe in 1966. Its reopening at the same time as the birth of the Rossini Opera Festival in 1980 saw the beginning of intense activity. During the year the theatre is used for operas and concerts during the Rossini Opera Festival, and holds a theatre season, a concert season and the GAD National Festival of Dramatic Art.
Rossini Opera Festival, founded in 1980, is a manifestation of lirica, dedicated to the genius of Gioacchino Rossini, which takes place in Pesaro in August.
The festival, which aims to preserve the study of the musical heritage related to the name of the composer, claims the scientific collaboration of Fondazione Rossini and it is member of the Euroean Association of the Festivals.