National Theater in Milan
Located just 400 metres from our Boutique Hotel Calais, in Via Giordano Rota at number 1, adjacent to Piazza Piemonte, the Theatre was built in the 1920s, commissioned by Mauro Rota, who operated a number of cinemas, and it was designed by architect Mario Borgato. From then on it has always belonged to the same Milanese family.
It was inaugurated on 20 December 1924 with La cena delle beffe ("The Jester´s Supper", 1908), a dramatic poem by Sem Benelli, and was later renovated by Mauro Rota´s son Giordano in 1979, who brought it back to its theatre traditions after years of use as a cinema. In 2001, it was partially refurbished in the period of Massimo Romeo Piparo´s artistic direction, and the theatre was given the name Ventaglio Nazionale, presenting a season of musicals after years of plays.
In 2009 it was completely refurbished by the Dutch performance arts multinational company Stage Entertainment. In September it reopened under its original name, "Teatro Nazionale". The new features included the introduction of the Broadway model, keeping the same performance on stage for at least an entire season. The refurbishment comprised the extension of the fly tower in order to be able to host musicals, which require a large amount of equipment for scene changes. The audience capacity was increased to 1,500 seats. The sound system was also modernised.
The refurbishment took place during the urban renewal of Piazza Piemonte, which included the creation of a green area with three sculptures by Aligi Sassu and an underground car park. The pedestrian street in front of the theatre was named after Giordano Rota, who had previously operated the theatre.
The first musical staged in the refurbished theatre for the 2009-2010 season was Beauty and the Beast. This was followed by Mamma Mia! in 2010-2011, Sister Act in 2011-2012 and, from 18 October 2012, Saturday Night Fever. In 2018, Mary Poppins.