Project Description

Teatro Romano

BENEVENTO

The Roman theater of Benevento was built in the 2nd century under the emperor Adriano, in the vicinity of the cardo maximus; today it is surrounded by the medieval Rione Triggio.

The plan of the theater is semicircular and presents great dimensions: it has a diameter of 90 m and originally had a capacity of 15 thousand people.

The exterior had 25 arches articulated on three orders, of which today remain those of the first one, framed by columns with Tuscan capitals, which give access to the interior alternately through corridors and stairs, and part of those of the second order.

The cavea has been largely preserved. Below it, the corridors and access staircases are connected by two parallel ambulatories that act as a sound box.

The scene, very large, presents the rests of three monumental doors, at the end of the cavea, which gave access to the orchestra; on its sides there are the rests of the parodoi, in particular the room on the right preserves the mosaic floor and the polychrome marble walls (as perhaps most of the theater had originally been covered). Behind the scene, three staircases led to a lower level, perhaps to a monumental entrance for the artists.

The entrance avenue is decorated with masks that recall those used by the actors; around the theater, investigations are still underway that have revealed rests of buildings maybe used as a dance school and artists’ association.

The theater has excellent acoustics and, being totally accessible, is now used in its original function, for musical and cultural events, in particular the “Entertainment City” and the opera season.

On what remained of the theater, above the hall mentioned above, the small church of Santa Maria della Verità was built in the XVIII century, with a single nave, restored after the 1980 earthquake.