The Teatro Massimo “V. Bellini ”, built to a design by the Milanese architect Carlo Sada, was inaugurated in 1890. In the hundred years of its existence, this propulsive center of Catania’s musical life has seen many of the greatest musicians of the twentieth century pass by on its stage tables: da Gino Marinuzzi to Vittorio Gui, from Antonio Guarnieri to Georg Solti, Lorin Maazel, Riccardo Muti, Giuseppe Sinopoli, Alain Lombard; from Toti Dal Monte to Callas alla Caballé to Scotto alla Freni; from Schipa to Gigli, to Corelli to Pavarotti to Pertile to Del Monaco to Di Stefano; from Galeffi to Bechi, to Gobbi, to Nucci, and practically represented all the masterpieces of musical theater, from Mozart to Berg, as well as contemporary works such as, last in chronological order, Azio Corghi’s Divara in absolute first performance in the version original in Italian.
The “Bellini” has an orchestra of 105 elements, a choir of 84 elements, a large group of stage technicians, scenographic workshops that in recent years have created installations by Ezio Frigerio, Pet Halmen, Maurizio Balò, Hugo de Ana, Luciano Ricceri, Dante Ferretti, Franca Squarciapino. The shows were curated by directors such as Pierre Ponnelle, Werner Herzog, Claude D’Anna, Gilbert Deflo, Giuliano Montaldo, Denis Krief.
In his hall of twelve hundred seats, with perfect acoustics, an opera season takes place every year, with seven rounds of season ticket, and a symphonic and chamber season, with two rounds of season ticket. Many concerts are replicated in places in Sicily and an intense promotional activity is carried out by small instrumental and vocal ensembles formed by elements of the orchestra and choir.