Teatro Farnese



  • A majestic Renaissance theater in Parma, Italy, famousas the oldest surviving venue with a proscenium arch. Itis now seldom used for performances. Designed by Giovanni Aleotti(1546 - 1636), it was begun in 1619 and opened in 1628. In additionto the proscenium arch, it had two similar frames further back onthe deep stage, allowing actors to use the entire area. The theateroriginally had a set of wings, which are also thought to have beendesigned by Aleotti. In front of the proscenium arch, which had aRoman-type curtain, there was a large open space used for dancing;on one occasion this was flooded for a water spectacle. The auditoriumwas that of a traditional court theater, providing raised seatingin a horseshoe arrangement for 3500 spectators.