The «Teatro Regio» of Torino, built in the record time of two years, was inaugurated on December 26th 1740 with Arsace by Francesco Feo. It immediately became an international reference point because of its capacity – about 2,500 seats among the stalls and the five tiers of boxes –, the magnificent decorations in the auditorium with the vault painted by Sebastiano Galeotti, the impressive scenes and the technical equipment, as well as the quality of the performances.
Each season began on 26 December, concluded with the end of Carnival and included two new opere serie written specially for the Teatro. During the 18th Century such celebrated Italian composers as Galuppi, Jommelli, Cimarosa and Paisiello wrote for the Regio, as did foreign authors like Gluck, Johann Christian Bach and Hasse. Other important composers in the history of the Regio are Wagner, Massenet, Puccini, who christened Manon Lescaut (1893) and La bohéme (1896) in Turin, and Strauss, who in 1906 conducted Salome in the Italian “première”.
During a night in February 1936 the Teatro was destroyed by a violent fire: it took almost forty years to rebuild it.
The new Teatro Regio was inaugurated on April 10th 1973 with Giuseppe Verdi’s opera I Vespri Siciliani, with Maria Callas and Giuseppe Di Stefano. Since that date productive activity has been progressively increasing, right up to the occasions that have left their mark on the history of the Regio’s recent years: in 1990 the 250th anniversary of its founding, in 1996, live on TV, the centennial of the absolute “première” of Bohème; in 1998 the 25 years of the new theatre (with an important acoustic restoration); and in 2006 the extraordinary adventure of the XX Winter Olympic Games and the Olympics of Culture.