THE TEATRO ARSENALE, A FASCINATING LOCATION IN THE HEART OF MILAN
Situated on what is now Via Cesare Correnti, between number 7 and number 11 but without the right to a street number of its own, the missing 9, the Arsenale has been a center of theatrical activities since 1978.
The Arsenale has recently gained two new partners, with which it had been collaborating on many projects for some time now, the Course of Set Design in the Department of Architecture and Society at Milan Polytechnic and the MMTCreativeLab.
The basic role of the Arsenale is to function as a framework for people, ideas, performances and initiatives, all turning around the art of the theater, its understanding, its study, its teaching. So the Arsenale aims to be a point of reference and not a container, a center and driving force of imagination and not the workings of a repetitive theatrical mechanism. It is housed in an old building, restructured on many occasions, whose first stone was laid in 1272. Over the centuries it has been used as a church, theater, college and school. Steeped in history and the location of emblematic events in the spiritual and artistic life of Milan, it has a particular fascination that strikes anyone who enters.
It is a welcoming place, where people feel at home and where the relationship between audience, stage and actors is more intimate and strongly felt than in traditional spaces. Its architectural, artistic and managerial characteristics have often meant that it bucks the general trend of things, and the Arsenale has had its troubles... But the potent genius loci that inhabits it has up to now made possible its survival and its continuity.
The Arsenale is directed by Marina Spreafico.
THE HISTORY OF THE THEATER
The Teatro Arsenale is located in a building dating from 1272 situated in the center of Milan, at Carrobbio. The construction was originally a place of worship dedicated to Saints Simon and Jude. In 1300 it was used to conduct a famous trial of the Inquisition, the one against Maifreda da Pirovano, a member of the Humiliati order of nuns belonging to the family of Matteo Visconti, the ruler of Milan. Over the course of time the church was annexed to the Collegio dei Calchi e dei Taeggi.
Deconsecrated in the Napoleonic era, in 1810 it embarked on a process of metamorphosis that has continued right down to the present day: theater, dancehall, storehouse, puppet theater, a place of worship again, the seat of various associations and finally, since 1978, home of the Teatro Arsenale. Steeped in history and the location of emblematic events in the spiritual and artistic life of Milan, it has a particular fascination that strikes anyone who enters the place.
DIMENSIONS AND EQUIPMENT
The auditorium is a completely empty rectangular area that presents the appearance of a shell whose dimensions are not perceptible. For this reason it has been called Milan’s black box. The flexibility of the space is of great help to creativity and can give rise to unprecedented staging solutions. Highly emotional and spectacular spatial effects can be generated solely with the aid of lighting, or just a few elements of scenery.
The apse, with its three arches that greet members of the audience as they enter the auditorium, dates from the beginning of the 20th century. The level of the apse’s floor is raised about 60 cm above that of the auditorium, from which it is separated by steps. The interior of the building has tall lancet windows that can be screened or left in view depending on the use to which the building is put.
The area can be equipped and illuminated to meet the needs of the events it hosts. The ceiling is fitted with an aluminum structure that is used to support the lighting system. The dimensions of the auditorium are 18 x 10 m, giving an internal area of around 180 m², including the apse, and the effective height is 5.50 m. It has a maximum capacity of 100 people.
The audio system permits an optimal distribution of the sound to every pointin space.
The lighting system is designed to meet the requirements of a theater and thus offers a broad range of means of control and special effects.
The technical equipment is completed by a mobile control cabin with mixer and players of various media. This can all be integrated with other elements and services in relation to the needs of events, through the support and skill of stagers and light and set designers.
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DIMENSIONS AND EQUIPMENT
- 15 x 10 x 5,50 meters + apse
- black walls and ceiling
- wooden floor
- truss arches all over the auditorium
- 30 pc 1000 W
- 12 Robert Juliat614SX16°/35° 1000-Wattprofile spots
- 4 1000-WattPAR 64s (lamps: 1 CP62, 3 CP61, 1 CP60)
- 5 6-channel ADBFAL dimmers x 3 kw each.
- 1 computerized 48-channel light mixer
- 37 kWavailable load, three-phase neutral and earth
- 1 CD player
- 2 handheld microphones with cables
- 5 passive 150/800-Watt ES loudspeakers
- 1 passive 300/1600-Watt subwoofer
- 1 Mackie 16-channel audio mixer
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