La Scala opera theatre in Milan, one of the most famous opera houses in the world, will re-open on 7 December following three years of reconstruction. The stage has been completely modernised and a 56 m tower has been built in the backstage area, housing state of the art equipment, dressing and rehearsal rooms. The front of the house has been restored to its original splendour. The theatre was originally built for the Empress Maria Teresa of Austria. It was inaugurated in August 1778 with a performance of "LEuropa Riconosciuta", a little-known opera with music by Antonio Salieri and the libretto by Mattia Verazi. It is this work that will open the new season at the renovated theatre. As usual, a glittering first night is expected, with Riccardo Muti, musical director of La Scala, conducting.