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Musical Events

Massimo Theatre

Massimo Theatre was designed to give Palermo both a new opportunity for cultural life and an architectural emblem for its social elite, after Sicily’s annexation to Italy in 1860. Its erection was commissioned to architect Giovan Battista Filippo Basile after an international competition in 1864. In order to make room for the imposing structure, several ages-old quarters of ancient Palermo were demolished. Its construction lasted until 1897, despite Basile’s death, and was completed by his son Ernesto, personally responsible for the interior decoration. Massimo Theatre is an eclectic building where Corynthian Greek style, Roman public architecture and XIX century neoclassical formality are originally and harmoniously blended. Its imposing bulk – inspired to the Opera House in Paris - has become a symbol of Palermo’s elegance all over the world. Massimo Theatre Calendar schedules a rich program of operas, ballet shows and classical music concerts every year..

With its 7730 square meters, it is the third largest opera house in Europe, following Paris and Vienna. It can host 3200 people, and it’s endowed with the second largest stage (1214 square meters), following Paris’ Opera House in (1390 square meters). After a renovation inexplicably lasted for twenty-three years, it was reopened in 1997.

Today, Massimo Theatre marks Palermo’s skyline with its cupola and its brown-yellow façade. Its elegantly painted interiors and the auditorium, with five tiers of boxes, are worth a visit. Ernesto Basile is also responsible for the design of the Art-Nouveau lamps and two kiosks outside the theatre, made of wrought iron and wood. Chiosco Ribaudo and Chiosco Vicari are now tobacconists’s shops open till late at night.

Castroreale Jazz

Castroreale Jazz usually hosts jazz legendary musicians both from Italy and abroad. It is held in the splendid baroque square in Castroreale at the end of July. (castrorealejazz)

International Sacred and Renaissance Music Week

In early September Erice (TP) hosts this important event. Concerts are scheduled in the churches of S. Martino, S. Cataldo, S. Giovanni Battista (Erice).

Settimana di Musica Sacra di Monreale

From late November to early December Monreale’s Cathedral schedules a rich program of sacred music and traditional music concerts. You can also enjoy free visits to the recently restored pipe organ, with its 10000 pipes. (monreale)

Massimo Theatre facade by night

Massimo Theatre interiors

Norma Opera at the Massimo

Turandot Opera at the Massimo

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