San Giacomo Theatre
The building that today accommodates the Town Hall of Kerkyra began to be built in 1663, initially as a Lodge for the Nobles (Loggia dei Nobili), where the members met for discussions, events and entertainment. With the increased interest of Venice in Corfu and the concentration of a high number of crew members from Galinotati fleet, Andrea Corner takes the initiative, in 1720, and transforms the Lodge into a Theatre for the entertainment of the officers. The theatre was named “Nobile Teatro di San Giacomo”, as it is next to the Catholic Cathedral San Giacomo.
San Giacomo, the first Theatre in Greece, functioned with all the European methods and specifications, emphasizing in melodrama and in the opera, but also Commedia dell' Arte. The performances began with particular formality with the presence of officers of Venice and of the officials of Kerkyra. The San Giacomo Theatre entertained many legendary operas from composers like Rossini, Bellini or Verdi and writers like Goldoni, Racine or Voltaire.
The building has a renaissance rhythm and has been constructed from carved Siniotic Stone, by the designs of an unknown architect. Externally there were lavish decorations with arches and baroque sculptures.
The curtain was saved by the destruction of the Theatre in 1943 and today it is found in the new Municipal Theatre of Corfu.
In 1832, certain additions were made to extent the theatre which were later removed, when it was changed into a Town Hall, in 1902.
Updated: 15-06-2014 22:20