Scala E Cappella
16 December Dec 2014 1447 4 years ago

The Musical Chapel and the Teatro Alla Scala Premiere

On the 26th February 1776 a terrible fire flared up in Palazzo Reale, destroying Teatro Regio

The building reconstruction, wanted by the Empress Maria Teresa d’Austria, was headed by Giuseppe Piermarini who, in the place where Santa Maria alla Scala Church once was, designed the great theatre, one of the symbols of Milan in the world.

The construction works were extremely fast and, during the great opening ceremony on the 3rd August 1778, some cantors from the Duomo Musical Chapel, Stefano Valcamonica, Severo Giussani, Francesco Bianchi and Giorgio Gilardone, asked Veneranda Fabbrica the permission to participate at the choirs’ union “for the opening of the new theatre”. At the time, the choirmaster was Giovan Andrea Fioroni. Gifted with a natural melodic inspiration, the choirmaster was famous beyond the city of Milan, his compositions being played and loved even abroad, as some manuscripts preserved in many European libraries confirm. A further proof of his renown is a letter, bearing the date 22nd December 1770, from Leopold Mozart to his wife, in which Mozart refers to Fioroni and his predecessor – Giovan Battista Sammartini – as “authentic friends” of him, and “the most distinguished” choirmasters of Milan. The choirmaster died the very day of the Teatro alla Scala opening, and was buried in the Duomo, in the tomb reserved to musicians and cantors.

The curious request by the cantors, read to the choirmaster on the 16th June 1778, together with Fioroni’s compositions – more than two hundred works – are preserved in the Veneranda Fabbrica Archive: a page from the history of Milan, and of its Duomo which remembers and tells the story of little and great protagonists.