The theatre dates back to 1864, when the Dal Verme family asked architect Giuseppe Pestagalli to design a large theatre, in competition with Teatro alla Scala. The architect designed a theatre with 3000 seats, horseshoe-shaped, with two orders of daises topped by a large loggia, with over 1500 seats.
Teatro Dal Verme was inaugurated on 14 September 1872 with “Gli Ugonotti” by Meyerbeer; the theatre was so successful, that it was considered as prestigious as Teatro alla Scala: many plays premiered here, such as “Le Villi” by Giacomo Puccini, “Vedova Allegra” by Franz Lehar and Arturo Toscanini had his first experiences here as orchestra leader. In 1943 the theatre was partially destroyed by bombings; when the war was over, the building was used as a cinema.
In 1981 the theatre was bought by the city council who commissioned the works in 1991, in order to turn it into the seat of the orchestra of Rai (the main Italian TV broadcast company). After the dissolution of the orchestra, the council inaugurated the new Teatro Dal Verme in 2001 with a main auditorium witth 1500 seats, a smaller auditorium with 200 seats and a space called Sala Terrazzo for exhibitions and conferences. Nowadays Teatro dal Verme, apart from hosting classical music concerts, conferences and lectures, festivals about literature, art, cinema and philosophy, it’s also the seat of I Pomeriggi Musicali Foundation and the theatre’s orchestra.