La Scala opera house is referred to as Teatro all Scala in Italian. It is a mecca for opera lovers, for whom the 7th of December вЂ“ the opening performance of a season вЂ“ marks the day of the highest significance. Much can be said about the excellence of performers who step up on the grand La Scala stage. Going to a performance there while in Milan is a must, if you enjoy opera even just a little bit.
La Scala was named after a 14th-century church that stood on its spot, called Santa Maria della Scala. The church was torn down at the end of the 18th century (1776) to make way for a new opera house, as Milan was in dire need of one after Palazzo Reale had been damaged in a fire. The new opera house was designed by Giuseppe Piermarini and opened its doors on August 3rd, 1778. The first opera performed in La Scalla was "Europa Riconosciuta", written by Antonio Salieri. Since then the greatest masters, including Verdi, held the premieres of their operas there.
The interior and layout of the opera house as seen today was introduced in 1907, when La Scala was renovated. Since then, La Scala has been able to seat 2800 spectators. The opera house was completely destroyed in 1943 in a World War II bombing, but was rebuilt in 3 years and reopened in 1946. The most recent architectural development that La Scala underwent was a major two-years-long renovation that was completed in 2004 by Mario Botta. It is no coincidence that La Scala reopened on December 7th, 2004, with "Europa Riconosciuta".