Prima della Prima. The rite of the La Scala opening event in the Intesa Sanpaolo Publifoto Archive

Gallerie d'Italia, Milano

The traditional Prima della Scala event is not just the opening evening of the most famous opera house’s season, but an event that has, due to its high-end aspects, garnered significant media attention in recent years.

It is this particular vision that inspired the exhibition “Prima della Prima. The rite of the La Scala opening event in the Intesa Sanpaolo Publifoto Archive, on display at the Gallerie d’Italia museum in Milan from 2 December to 14 February 2022, and curated by Aldo Grasso.

The exhibition offers visitors an opportunity to delve into the history of the ‘social event’ that is the opening evening of the Teatro alla Scala opera season through a selection of images, some of which have never been seen before, taken from the 7 million photographs from the past century which form the Intesa Sanpaolo Publifoto Archive.

The story revolves around three symbolic years in the post-war history of the La Scala opera house:

  • 1946, which marked the beginning of the revival from the ruins of war;
  • 1951, the year in which La Scala’s season opened for the first time on 7 December;
  • 1968, the year in which student protests had a significant impact, both domestically and internationally.

The images selected offer a glimpse of the opera house’s extraordinary world: the audience in the stalls and boxes, the gallery, the celebrities who vied to be present at the world’s most prestigious premiere, and the workers involved in ensuring that this grand opening spectacle was a success.

Curated by Intesa Sanpaolo, one of the sponsors of the Teatro alla Scala opera house, Prima della Prima at the Gallerie d’Italia Museum in Piazza Scala, Milan also pays cultural homage to the city.

from 02.12.2021 to 14.02.2022
Opening hours
from 9:30 am to 7:30 pm
Thursday: from 9:30 am to 10:30 pm.
Closed on Mondays.
Last admission 1 hour before closing.

Booking online is recommended and a COVID-19 Green Pass must be presented for entry.

Ticket prices:
– full-price: €10.00
– reduced: €8.00
– special reduction: €5.00
– free admission for pass holders, schools and under 18s
More details regarding discounts and free admission are available on the Information page.