Teatro Valentino Garavani – Voghera

The origins of the Voghera theatre date back to the early 19th century, when, by the will of a society of individuals and important families of the city, it was decided to incentivize art and theatrical performances in the important Voghera of the time.

The ambitious project of the construction of a social theatre and the purchase of the buildings that were to host the new structure and the interior spaces were entrusted to architect Felice Moraglia in 1836, and later to architect Gioacchino dell’Isola-Molo del Borghetto from Turin in 1841. After three years of intense construction and furnishing works, on 11 July 1844, the king of Sardinia Carlo Alberto granted the royal patents that ratified the privileges and prerogatives of the social theatre.

It is clear from this historical context how important the construction of this building, which was inspired by the royal theatres of northern Italy, must have been for the city. The sumptuous furnishings and lighting were commissioned to the best artisans of the time, already suppliers to the Real Casa. Among all the artefacts, what stands out is the Astrolampo, the name of the large chandelier that dominates the theatre, made by the workshops of Knight Giacinto Ottino, producer of the greatest lighting works of the time.

After the splendour of the early 20th century, a gradual decline led the theatre to its definitive closure in 1986. In 2018, its restoration was finally proposed thanks to private and public funding.

Zonca Lighting was involved in 2019 in an ambitious project of study and functional and aesthetic restoration of the artefacts related to lighting. An accurate historiographical study with the archives of the municipality of Voghera and a scientific study with the University of Pavia allowed to formulate the final report which received the approval of the superintendence of cultural heritage to proceed with the restoration works.

At the end of 2023, after years of restoration of the Astrolampo and the other lamps that illuminate the foyer and the ticket office, the Social Theatre of Voghera came back to life, now named Teatro Valentino Garavani, in honour of the famous fashion designer originally from the same city.