Teatro San Moisè


The Teatro San Moisè was an opera house in Venice, active from 1640 to 1818. It was in a prominent location near the Palazzo Giustinian and the church of San Moisè at the entrance to the Grand Canal.
Built by the San Bernaba branch of the Giustiniani family, the first production in 1640 was of Claudio Monteverdi's (now lost) opera L'Arianna. It then passed into the hands of the Zane family and was used by the Ferrari company. The librettist Giovanni Faustini was one of the theatre's first impresarios.
From the outset it was one of the smaller theatres of Venice, but also one of the most influential. In 1668 it was enlarged to 800 seats, and then in 1674 theatre was revived by the impresario Francesco Santurini, who caused a revolution by halving the price of tickets to 2 lire, leading to a boost to opera interest and further proliferation of active theatres in the city.
During the early 18th century Gasparini, Vivaldi and Albinoni were all active in San Moisè. During the 1740s, Neapolitan opera buffa reached Venice and San Moisè was one of the first theatres to concentrate on this genre, with works by Baldassare Galuppi, in partnership with Carlo Goldoni, being seen in the theatre. This trend continued through most of the century. In the 1770s and 1780s the theatre was under the control of the prolific librettist Giovanni Bertati, the Poeta Cesareo ("Imperial Poet") of the Italian Opera in Vienna, who concentrated on drammi giocosi with Pasquale Anfossi and other composers.
The San Moisè finally closed in 1818 after producing a series of farse by Rossini. It first became a puppet theatre, and then was rebuilt as the Teatro Minerva. By the end of the 20th century it had become part shop, and part block of flats.