Town Theatre


Treasure-trove of art.
Elegant and refined.
Gilded boxes
draped in velvet
crown your aspect.

The lights are dimmed.
The curtain rises.
Tragedies, comedies and parodies.
The masks of life.
At the foot of the stage
burns a sacred flame.

You always enthral with your magic.
You always thrill.
You always lift our spirits.

Theatre: rehearsal for the play
of Sinfarosa Petralia - open

Saint Francis’ Royal Theatre

The date of the May 11th seems to be recurring in Marsala’s history. It is also the date when the first official document regarding the foundation of the town theatre was issued: …on May 11th , 1807…Don Leopoldo Fedele, a Marsala dignitary, was granted the long-pleaded permission to build… a residential theatre to perform comedies, tragedies, and music operas in a proper and decent place…
Don Fedele then transferred the permit to Giovanni Nuccio, a Marsala nobleman.

The construction work started after May 1807, and the theatre operated regularly until 1824.
Then, due to some particular testamentary clauses, it was shut from 1826 through 1840.
In 1840 the town administration expropriated it for public use.
The performance activities went on for a decade with an intense and diversified program.

The latest important event was the concert by the great pianist Alfred Cortot in 1952.
The theatre was also the prestigious seat of the Town Music School directed by Maestro Giovanni Galvano.
This School was a reference point for all of western Sicily for the training of musicians and teachers, and “the only structure of this kind” until 1968.
The decaying of its inner and outer structures progressed and it was therefore closed as it became unfit for use after the 1968 earthquake.

The theatre restoration work along with internal furnishing and utilities was carried on between 1983 and 1989.
The town theatre re-opened in November 1994 with a concert by Andrea Bocelli.

It is now dedicated to Maestro Eliodoro Sollima, the late Marsala composer who directed the Palermo Academy of Music.

It has almost 300 seats, a large ground floor, three balconies of box seats, and a gallery.