New outdoor theatre along the Tiber

A new outdoor theatre overlooking the banks of the river Tiber will be inaugurated in Rome on 28 November.

The €1.5 million theatre space is a project of the city of Rome and is likely to be managed by Fondazione Musica per Roma, the management company at the nearby Auditorium Parco della Musica.

Situated below the Ponte della Musica on the same side as neighbouring Teatro Olimpico as well as the Auditorium, the 350-seat theatre will be connected by two flights of steps from the bridge above, and has been designed to withstand flooding.

The project, which began over a year ago, was coordinated by Kit Powell Williams, the British architectural firm that designed the Ponte della Musica in 2000. It includes the re-ordering of the river bank opposite to provide cycle lanes rerouted due to the theatre's construction.

The theatre space, located between two country clubs along the river, will be enclosed by a plain 2m-high frame for climbing plants to help it blend in with surrounding greenery.

In July the project was criticised by environmental group Legambiente which railed against the “cementification” of the area as well as the cycling lanes being interrupted. It also alleged that vegetation including an olive tree and magnolias would be cut to make way for the concrete stair cases – claims refuted by the city.

The theatre is expected to stage a production in the run-up to Christmas before opening for its first official season of programmed events in the spring.