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Teatru Manoel

Teatru Manoel

The Manoel Theatre (Maltese: It-Teatru Manoel; Italian: Teatro Manoel) is a theatre and important performing arts venue in Malta. The theatre is often referred to as simply "The Manoel", and is named after Grand Master of the Order of the Knights Hospitaller, Fra António Manoel de Vilhena, who ordered its construction in 1731. The theatre is reputed to be Europe's third-oldest working theatre (older than the San Carlo in Naples), and the oldest theatre still in operation in the Commonwealth of Nations. The theatre is located on Old Theatre Street (Maltese: Triq it-Teatru l-Antik) in Valletta. It considers itself as the country's national theatre and the home of Malta Philharmonic Orchestra (Maltese: Orkestra Filarmonika Nazzjonali). Originally called the Teatro Pubblico, its name was changed to Teatro Reale, or Theatre Royal, in 1812, and renamed Manoel Theatre in 1866. The first play to be performed was Maffei's Merope. The theatre is a small, 623 seat venue, with an oval-shaped auditorium, three tiers of boxes constructed entirely of wood, decorated with gold leaf, and a pale blue trompe-l'oeil ceiling that resembles a round cupola. The building is a Grade 1 listed building as noted by Malta's Superintendence of Cultural Heritage, and is also scheduled by the Malta Environment and Planning Authority (MEPA)

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