Poste Italiane issued a stamp to commemorate the 250th anniversary of the inauguration of the Munisipal Theatre of Bologna (Teatro Comunale di Bologna).
The Teatro Comunale di Bologna is one of the most important opera houses in Italy. Typically, it presents eight operas with six performances during its November to April season.
Designed by the architect Antonio Galli Bibiena the theatre was inaugurated on 14 May 1763 with a performance of Gluck's Il trionfo di Clelia, an opera which the composer had written for the occasion. A bell-shaped auditorium consisting of four tiers of boxes plus a royal box and small gallery with a ceiling decorated as if open to the sky was built primarily of masonry as a protection against fire. However, much work remained unfinished, the facade in particular which was not completed until 1936. Also, many of the backstage facilities which would allow for the presentations of operas were unfinished and only completed due to competition from another theatre in 1805.
The 19th century saw the presentation of twenty operas by Gioacchino Rossini, while seven of Vincenzo Bellini's ten operas were presented in the 1830s. Works by Giuseppe Verdi and, later in 1871, the Italian premiere of Richard Wagner's Lohengrin dominated the theatre's repertoire.
The issued stamp features the inside of the Municipal Theatre of Bologna, created in the 18th century, with its large stalls and lavish dress circles.