Why Milan A Brief History

At the end of the 16th century, thanks to a group of writers and musicians (the so-called “Camerata de ‘Bardi”) in Florence a show was created in which words and music gave life to mythological stories, heroic events and dramas. To make the words of the text more accessible, they invented a new vocal style: recitar cantando.

Melodrama, or opera, developed very quickly, sweeping the rest of Italy, Europe and beyond. Thanks to this diffusion and the connected complexity, the figure of the “impresario” was born. The impresario produced shows with an innovative spirit and represented the work. The fate and fortune of the impresario was decided by the public.

In all of this, the city of Milan, for musical theatre or rather for opera, represents the peak of maximum “splendor” and visibility on a global level. The greatest musicians, composers, and entrepreneurs are inevitably connected to Milan and to what is considered one of the most important stages dedicated to this artistic form.

Just as it is evident that the history of Italian Melodrama has generated and modified all the forms of representation of musical theatre (we are thinking precisely of the figure of the impresario), it is also evident that Opera Lirica (or melodrama) and the musical are connected by the idea of telling a story through music, poetry, text, acting and dance (which has always existed) and in modern times have become closer, blurring the differences.


The contemporary European musical theatre is a child of opera, and the contemporary Broadway theatre is a child of vaudeville. Musical theatre in other places around the world come from their own unique traditions and together this unique complex contemporary musical theatre art form thrives in all of its diversity worldwide.

Due to its history and its many theatres, Milan is the ideal place for this festival. Milan is also the global capital of fashion and design, two art forms intimately linked to the theater, and is one of the most international cities in the world, with a number of consulates (126) that even exceeds New York.

Creativity, art, culture, business, research, communication, hospitality: Milan has all these fundamental ingredients necessary to create a new great international event dedicated to an art form as dynamic, exciting, and engaging as the city itself.