From Guest Blogger Toni DeBella
When entering the theatre’s ornately decorated atrium, you walk through the doorway and into the theatre’s bell-shaped orchestra. There in front of you is the magnificent curtain (sipario storico) filling the entire stage, top to bottom. It makes quite a dramatic, lasting first impression – a natural centerpiece to an already elegant and architecturally brilliant interior.
At first glance you might assume that this remarkable textile is actually an intricately woven tapestry, but you would be mistaken. Closer examination reveals that this historical representation of the Goths being expelled from Oriveto in 535 A.D. is actually a painting. More astonishing than the fact it was painted with such realistic and artistic perfection - the curtain was actually completed by Fracassini in only 40 days!
The construction of the original Teatro Mancinelli began in 1856 and was completed in 1862. The theatre most recently underwent an extensive ten-year restoration between 1983 and 1993. During the renovation process the acoustical characteristics were preserved, thereby retaining the theatre’s reputation as one of the most perfect stages for live sound in all of Italy - and surely one of the most beautiful.
Each and every performance - from operas, symphonies, Umbria Jazz and dance – are introduced to audiences by way of this wonderful, richly tinted backdrop in deep colors of red, gold and black. If you are unable to stay in Oriveto long enough to attend one of the theatre’s many scheduled programs, be sure to visit to see firsthand the masterwork of Frascassini and fellow artist Annibale Angelini.
The city of Orvieto is so full of captivating and historically significant sites--the most well-known,of course, is its Gothic Duomo (cathedral) built in the 14th century. If the famous Duomo is considered to be Orivieto's medieval "diamond", then Teatro Mancinelli must be deemed its "pearl."
Visits to the theatre can be made Tuesdays – Sundays; 10:00 a.m – 6:00 p.m.
Tickets: 2 euro
For information and group reservations, call (39) 0763/340422 or email: email@example.com
For more great stories about Orivieto, check out Toni's blog Orvieto or Bust
Grazie mille, Toni! I've seen the Duomo,not this gorgeous theatre. Next time for sure.