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Theatre Errico Petrella

In the middle of the XIX century, the ancient theatre of the city, which was located in the old town, was no longer suitable to face the middle-class’ growing love and need towards performances and culture. The first project for a new theatre, made by Biagio Abbati from Savignano sul Rubicone, was set aside because of its cost. In 1864 thanks to Giulio Turchi a solution was found, the major’s son, a municipal engineer, who submitted a draft for a smaller theatre, which would have been risen where the ancient convent of St. Jerome stood. The construction was ended, after many economic troubles, in 1870. The opening was in July of the same year, and on the same occasion, the composer Errico Petrella, to whom the theatre was named after, directed his play “The Betrothed”.

Used for quite a while as a movie theatre (since 1905), the theatre’s roof and part of the audience’s roof were damaged by a bomb during World War II. Then, after some years of degrade, in 1980 the city council decided to proceed with a radical renovation of the theatre, and gave the project to the architect Sanzio Castagnoli from Cesena. The works, which ended in 1986, aimed at the total restoration of the pre-existing structure of the theatre and its famous calendar rich of various kinds of performances, cabaret, shows, music, internships, theatre workshops, and rehearsals.

A quick look to this authentic architectonic Italian jewel should begin from the outside, characterised by a horizontal pattern extended for the height and the length of the building. The central part of the facade, with an extended gable, offers, on the first floor, three windows, interspersed by pilaster stripes.

The inside is evocative with a horseshoe construction plan, two stages and a gallery. This design is due to Girolamo Bellani and Giovanni Canepa. The Theatre Errico Petrella has a 205-seat capacity (stalls, stages of I and II order and gallery).

Peculiar of the building is the system that allows to lift the planking level of the stalls, once the chairs are removed, to connect it to the stage, in order to obtain a unique area.

It is also possible to admire the exposition of pictures representing the artists who have played at the Theatre Petrella: from Vittorio Gassman to Dario Fo and Franca Rame, Bruno Ganz, Alessandro Bergonzoni, Lella Costa, David Riondino, Ivano Marescotti, Paolo Rossi, Bebo Sorti, Gino Paoli, Ornella Vanoni, Stefano Bollani, Lucio Dalla, Gianni Morandi, Ludovico Einaudi, Francesco Guccini, Paolo Conte, Ivano Fossati, Francesco de Gregori, Avion Travel, Claudio Baglioni. All the best of Italian music, cabaret and theatre has been here!