Marche Art and culture
The Pergolesi Theatre in Jesi
The Pergolesi Theatre in Jesi is one of the most important symbols of art and culture in the Marche. Its story began in the last years of the 18th century, when the city realized that they needed a new theatre which could host stage performances in a suitable way: a need that the Leone Theatre, built in 1731, is no longer able to fulfil, as it is at the same time dangerous and uncomfortable. In support of the construction of the new building, prelate-governor D. Pietro Gravina, Grandee of Spain, together with a number of noble citizens.
Art and culture in the Marche: the Pergolesi Theatre
Costing 24.000 Italian scudi and with 100 boxes, the building was first called Concordia Theatre. Two architects followed the work: Cosimo Morelli, from Imola, and Francesco Maria Ciaraffoni, from Fano. Amongst other things, Morelli also defined the elliptical curve of the very wide auditorium, which gives an excellent acoustic to the structure.
Two famous neoclassical artists also took part in the work: they are Felice Giani and Giovanni Antonio Antolini. They were assigned the work of the painted decorations and of the aesthetical sections of the building. With the help of Giuseppe Guiducci, Francesco Micarelli andd Gaetano Bartolani, Giani therefore painted the vaulted auditorium with “Histories of Apollo”, while Antolini, author of the Foro Bonaparte in Milan, took on the scenic design and furniture.
The best symbol of art and culture in the Marche
Within a short period, the fame of the theatre grew: inaugurated during the 1798 Carnival, in the presence of Jacobins and of the people, during the 19th century it underwent a series of updates and completion works. For example, around 1828 the piazza ahead of the building was rearranged; in the following decades, extension work was carried out and on the façade there was installed the monumental clock, thanks to the funding granted by prince Beauharnais. In 1850, local artist Luigi Mancini created the historical curtain, representing the entrance of Frederick II into the city; while in the 1880s the building had its name changed and it was named after Giovanni Battista Pergolesi, a famous composer hailing from Jesi. The theatre therefore becomes, under all aspects, the best example of art and culture in the Marche, despite some moments of hiatus in the following years for the lyrical tradition, due to the success of other varieties of shows, such as café chantant, operettas and cinema screenings. In more recent times, in 1968, the theatre was awarded with the prize of Teatro della Tradizione, also thanks to the active interest of artistic director Carlo Perucci: before then, such qualification was given only to theatres located in the capital cities of the provinces.
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