La Scala is “the world’s number one theatre, because it is the one that gives the maximum musical enjoyment”, wrote Stendhal on 10 November 1816. La Scala had opened in 1778 with the opera Europa riconosciuta by Antonio Salieri, but it had already won itself a prestige that it would subsequently maintain throughout its whole existence. Most of Italy’s greatest operatic artists, and many of the finest singers from other nations, too, have appeared at La Scala during the past 200 years. Today, the theatre is still recognized as one of the leading opera and ballet theatres in the world. Through six sections (The beginnings; The first half of the nineteenth-century; The second half of the nineteenth-century; The first half of the twentieth-century; The second half of the twentieth-century; La Scala in the new millennium) this volume tells the fascinating story of the building.