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Teatro Bellini, Naples

History and museums
theatre, opera, culture, history

The Teatro Bellini (Bellini Theatre) is a private theatre and opera stage located in the centre of Naples on the Via Vincenzo Bellini at the corner of Via Conte di Ruo. It is across the street from the Academy of Fine Arts of Naples.

The house is named after the Sicilian-born composer, Vincenzo Bellini, who is best known for his operas and who spent his some time in the 1820s studying music in the city. In addition, there in an opera house name after him—the Teatro Massimo Bellini—in Catania, Sicily, his birthplace.


In 1864, Baron Nicola Lacapra Sabelli commissioned the theatre's creation from the architect Carlo Sorgente for the Via Vincenzo Bellini. This theatre, located near Piazza Dante Alighieri, burned down in 1869, and a new one was inaugurated a few hundred feet from the original locale.

On 6 February 1877 it presented Bellini's opera, I puritani. The theatre has 6 tiers of box seats surrounding an oval floor. The interior decorations were created by Giovanni Ponticelli, Pasquale Di Criscito, and Vincenzo Paliotti, and the oil portrait of the opera composer was by Vincenzo Migliaro.

For nearly a century, the theatre presented operas and operettas, but by the 1960s it had become dilapidated, used only as a cheap movie theatre, and it was considered for demolition. In 1962 the Bellini hosted its final operatic spectacle with Masaniello before being acquired in 1986 by a group led by local artist and producer, Tato Russo. They restored the house for operatic and theatrical productions which are now frequently presented.


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