The Green Theatre at Villa Reale is the oldest in Europe. This extraordinary example of ‘green architecture’ was commissioned by the Orsettis and created between 1664 and 1670. It is characteristic of classic Italian garden design, and is one of the most striking examples among the Villas around Lucca.
Structure of the Theatre
The yew hedges are pruned to create high green walls with arched windows. Between the stage and the seats, two topiary creations represent the conductor’s podium and the prompter’s box, whilst the small box hedge spheres imitate the stage footlights.
The stage is higher up and delineated by the wings, dotted with terracotta statues of Italian Commedia dell’Arte: Pulcinella, Colombina and Pantalone. Recent restoration work included the creation of a support structure for the hedges and the introduction of young plants to thicken the foliage.
The stage, once graced by artists such as Jean Racine and Niccolò Paganini, is once again ready to host music and theatre performances.