Teatro di San Carlo, located in Naples, Italy, is the oldest active opera theatre in the world as it was first inaugurated on November 4, 1737. The theatre has become a model for many theatres in Europe and still remains one of the largest opera houses in Italy. The building burnt down on February 12, 1816, but was rebuilt with a bigger stage and a magnificent clock on the arch above the stage called “Time and Hours.” The theatre was even damaged by bombs during the Second World War, but American and British soldiers soon repaired it.
Although the theatre endured many disasters, it still stands today with its strikingly beautiful red and gold fixtures and its sensational “king’s box” affixed with a massive crown. The theatre has a horseshoe shape, lower level stall seats and six levels of box seats. Each box seat is adorned with a large mirror so the guests could always see the king. The theatre holds 1,386 seats and, because of its shape, has an excellent sound quality that can be heard clearly even from the farthest seats. The ceiling of the opera house is covered by a large painting by Giuseppe Cammarano of the Greek god Appollo and goddess Minerva surrounded by famous poets; the painting is titled Apollo introducing the greatest poets in the world to Minerva. The careful detail and various fixtures inside Teatro di San Carlo engulf your imagination in visual pleasure and give an appeal of luxury and royalty.