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The Teatro Argentina is an opera house and theatre located in the Largo di Torre Argentina, a square in Rome, Italy.  On 31 January 1732, it opened with the opera Berenice by Domenico Sarro. It is one of the oldest theaters in Rome, and it’s the only 18th century Roman theater that has survived in its original form.

Sforza Cesarini built the opera house. It was designed by architect Gerolamo Theodoli. The auditorium was laid out in the traditional horseshoe shape and the inside was constructed of wood with six levels of boxes characterizing the design. The exterior walls and stairs were made of stone. The wood-floored stalls area had 40 rows, laid down to fit the auditorium’s shape. Each of the six rows above the floor had 31 boxes for a total of 186. The boxes have been described as small suspended parlors. The Teatro Argentina was considered the most important theater in Rome.

In the 19th century, the premieres of many notable operas took place in the theater. They include Gioachino Rossini’s The Barber of Seville in 1816, and Giuseppe Verdi’s I due Foscari in 1844 and La battaglia di Legnano in 1849.

Oral family history says that Mary Inez Colosi-Bongiovanni performed in opera houses in Rome. If that is true, then it is likely she performed at the Teatro Argentina at some point during her career.

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