Venice's theatre season
Venice's theatre season was the richest in Europe thanks to the many theatres in the city, which were often owned by patrician families.
Musical opera was introduced to public theatres for the first time in Venice in the 17th century. This allowed a wide audience to enjoy what had previously only been available to the privileged few.
Sixteen theatres were active in the 17th century.
The season opened on October 1 and coincided with the authorisation to wear masks; because of the magnificence and sumptuousness of the plays a real battle ensued among theatregoers who used the theatre as a place both to see and be seen.
Goldoni, Malibran e Fenice
The Carnival works on various levels: open-air party, private gatherings and theatre performances
The Goldoni Theatre and the historic Malibran Theatre (built to replace the 17th century Grimaldi Theatre) take centre stage during the mixed bag of events, the Malibran having recently undergone restoration.
The Biennale is also busy at this time of year, with the Theatre sector offering entertainment around the city.