THE ROYAL COURT THEATRE
The leading Theatre. One of its first copies was the Royal Opera in Versailles.
The Court Theatre in Caserta was born at the behest of the king, and its architecture was inspired by the revolutionary Teatro di San Carlo in Naples. It was one of the first theaters with an horseshoe shape, which allow to achieve a better acoustics and visibility, but unlike the San Carlo, of which it takes just its shape, the internal structure is totally different, and in some ways even better. The Court Theatre was used by the sovereign for private executions of the shows of the Neapolitan theater.
The Court Theatre in the Royal Palace of Caserta, scale reproduction of the San Carlo in Naples, is splendid example of theater architecture of the nineteenth century, and was the only room in the palace entirely built under the guidance of Vanvitelli.
King Charles, due to the enormous European success of his San Carlo in Naples, decided to build the theater inside the building but, because it was not planned in the original projject of the building, its construction began three years after the start of work for the Royal Palace.
It was completed in 1768, and it was opened in the carnival of the 1769 by the young royal couple, Ferdinand and Maria Carolina, in the presence of all the Neapolitan nobility, and until 1798, it owned a full events calendar, ranging from dance parties, to theater comedies, concerts and dramas.
As said above, the Court Theatre was inspired by the San Carlo in Naples, but this reference is limited to only to its shape, because the space layout is absolutely innovative.
Unlike other European theaters, such as Drottningholm and Versailles, where the theater is separated building outside the palace, the Court Theatre of Caserta is perfectly integrated within the building, despite the entrance is isolated.
The impression you get by visiting the theater, with its warm colors accentuated by the soft lights of the huge central chandelier, is that one of a luxurious but intimate environment, almost like a “cave”.
More infos: Teatro di San Carlo – Wikipedia
AN ARCHITECTURAL REVOLUTION
The Court Theatre of the Royal Palace of Caserta is an exact reproduction, in smaller scale, of the Teatro San Carlo in Naples. Both theaters revolutionized the theater architecture, as they were the first theaters in the world to have an horseshoe shape.
This structure, defined as Italian Style theater – it would be more exact to call it as Neapolitan Style theater – quickly became the worldwide standard for all new theaters, and decreed the abandonment of the classical rectangular shape with bleachers.