Teatro Politeama Garibaldi, Palermo
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The Teatro Politeama Garibaldi is one of the great 19th century architectural landmarks of Palermo, the Sicilian capital and the center of Italy's fifth-largest metropolitan area. It's located in the Piazza Ruggero Settimo, one of the city's most popular public squares. The home of the Orchestra Sinfonica Siciliana, the concert hall and theater was completed in 1891, following a quarter century design and construction period. It's the second largest indoor performance venue after Teatro Massimo, which was designed and built during roughly the same time period.
Description: Originally built in 1861 in the gardens of Palazzo Ajutamicristo, Teatro Garibaldi was erected at the behest of the musician and composer Pietro Cutrera as an ephemeral, rather provisional construction. The proportions of the layout conform to the architectural “rule” for “Italian-style theatres”. Newspapers of the period report that Garibaldi attended Romeo and Juliet there in 1862, declaring his famous words “O Roma, o morte” from box no. 10. After being managed by a succession of different families, alternating with periods of abandon and decline (including even hosting boxing matches), the theatre was acquired by the City of Palermo in 1983 and reopened as an active theatre in 1996 with Hamlet directed by Carlo Cecchi.