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Take a virtual tour of the famed La Scala opera house

J-P Mauro - published on 05/14/20

The famed cultural institution in Milan, Italy, worked double-time to launch the feature during the coronavirus lockdown.

La Scala, the storied Italian opera house that has attracted some of the most talented musicians of the last 200 years, has launched a virtual tour of its esteemed halls. The effort, already planned before the lockdown orders, was bolstered in order to release the project during this time of quarantine.

To herald the announcement, reports Colleen Barry of the Associated Press, they released a video, featured above, of the La Scala orchestra and talented operatic vocalists performing and excerpt from the Act I Finale of Verdi’s Simon Boccanegra, with each member performing from their own homes in isolation. The video, which continues in the trend of isolation performances, showcases the singers’ brilliant voices, giving these professionals a much-needed outlet for artistic expression.

In the description attached to the video, the company wrote:

This beautiful piece, which evokes the unity of the Italian people in the face of tyranny, is a hymn to resilience, solidarity and ultimately love in the midst of a global crisis.

The virtual tour is available through Google Art and Culture, which features extensive 360-degree tours of the main theater hall, the Theatre Museum, and several backstage rooms. The archives include 240,000 photos, 16,000 documents, and more than 40 digital exhibits that allow visitors to get up close and personal with the company’s fine costumes, props, grounds, exhibits, and chandeliers. The tour also includes digitized copies of original scores from Beethoven Mozart, Rossini, Verdi, and more.

Geared towards education as much as entertainment, each stop on the virtual tour offers historical references and fun facts about the theater’s facilities. The tour offers behind-the-scenes looks at the process of show planning, including the costume designer’s sketches and set designers hard at work. The page is interspersed with quick quiz questions that teach La Scala trivia, as well as clips of the theater’s most highly regarded performances.

In a statement given during the announcement of La Scala’s new virtual tour, General Director Dominique Meyer told the Associated Press:

’’We are sad not to see the orchestra together, not to see the dancers together, not to see the chorus together, not see the stage hands every day … The theater is a big family.” He added, ’’Of course we can’t wait to return to the theater, but in the meantime we can explore these secrets of the theater and learn things that even we didn’t know.”

Just as with any good museum tour, there’s way more to see of La Scala than can be explored in just one day. With hours of footage and tens of thousands of exhibits to sift through, La Scala’s new virtual tour will keep you coming back for more. Click here to start your tour now.

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