Paola Pansini’s “Il Teatro Grande. A photographic portrait”

Between 2013 and 2023, the Teatro Grande underwent extensive restoration work that brought to light more than a thousand square metres of paintings and frescoes, hidden for more than a century, in the Sala delle Statue, the Ridotto and the adjoining rooms.

On the occasion of the end of the works and the nomination of Bergamo Brescia Capitale Italiana della Cultura 2023, the Fondazione del Teatro Grande di Brescia commissioned the photographer Paola Pansini to write the volume Il Teatro Grande. A photographic portrait, published in September 2023 by Silvana Editoriale, edited by Massimo Torrigiani and with a text by Francesco Zanot.

The Teatro Grande di Brescia is one of the city’s most prestigious and oldest cultural institutions and is considered by artists and audiences to be one of the most beautiful theatres in the world. The theatre gave rise to the universal success of Puccini’s Madama Butterfly, presented here for the first time in May 1904 in a new version, after the fiasco of its debut at La Scala only three months earlier.

Paola Pansini, through her photographs and the adoption of a frontal and close-up point of view, takes the readers inside the theatre, but instead of watching a performance, they find themselves looking, in admiration, at the theatre itself.

In Paola Pansini’s photographs, composition, light and colour find balance in a natural, silent sharpness. The images of the Theatre are made of matter, spatiality, exactitude and harmony. A reflection of her studies in sculpture and visual communication, of a precise and original gaze, and of technical perfection.

The volume Il Teatro Grande. A Photographic Portrait can be purchased from the Bookshop and the Box Office of the Teatro Grande, in the main bookshops in Brescia, Milan and the main Italian cities.