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Pjazza Teatru Rjal

The “Royal Opera House” was designed in 1861 by the English architect Edward Middleton Barry, who had designed several prominent buildings in London including Covent Garden and the National Gallery. It was inaugurated on October 9, 1866 with Vincenzo Bellini’s opera I Puritani. On Sunday evening of May 25, 1873 during the rehearsals of Giuseppe Privitera’s opera La Vergine del Castello, the theatre accidentally caught fire and its interior was extensively damaged. Restoration works were taken up immediately and, after nearly four and a half years from this accidental fire, the theatre reopened with a performance of Giuseppe Verdi’s Aida. For many years, the Royal Opera House in Valletta served not only as an important launching pad for aspiring opera singers but also as the prime theatrical venue of Malta. This was the place where Military Officers, British Royalty and Maltese enthusiasts came to enjoy staged entertainment of the highest quality, both in the field of music as well as that of drama. The Royal Opera House was held to be one of the most beautiful and awe-inspiring Opera Houses in Europe.

On the evening of Tuesday April 7, 1942 the theatre suffered its second tragedy when it was devastated in an aerial attack by Stuka dive-bombers. Its pristine interior and most of its side walls came crashing down and one of Malta’s cultural and architectural landmarks ended up in miserable ruins. Only the numerous Corinthian columns and peripheral hard stone base survived. After many attempts to rebuild the theatre, in 2006 the government announced a proposal to redevelop the site to provide a new location for the House of Parliament. Renzo Piano was entrusted with the project and, after having dissuaded the Government from building a Parliament on the opera house site, chose to construct the Parliament building on Freedom Square and to convert and use the ruins of the opera house as an open-air theatre. Thus the Pjazza Teatru Rjal came to be. It was officially inaugurated on August 8, 2013. It is regarded as a monument that stands for the heroism, tenacity and dignity of the Maltese who stood against enemy action in the Second World War. At the same time the newly built theatre shows an aspiration to preserve past culture with a promise to create and nurture new artistic ideas.


Pjazza Teatru Rjal
Casa Cassar
Triq il-Vittorja
MLT-1050 Valletta

fon: +356 22478100
email: contact@pjazzateatrurjal.mt

Performances / Concert Malta Philharmonic Orchestra Floriana, Malta, 1 Triq John Lopez
Performances / Theatre Manoel Theater Malta Valletta, 115, Old Theatre Street