Casanova mentions the Teatro Aliberti (also known as the Teatro Alibert and later as the Teatro delle Dame) only very briefly, not at all giving it its due as the powerhouse it was in Rome.
You’ll remember C’s trials with Barbaruccia, how she showed up at his apartment dressed as an abate, how the Cardinale gave her protection. While all this was playing out, Casanova was attempting to lay low and act as though all was normal, that he was not involved in the affair. His friend, the Abate Gama, shared Rome’s gossip about the girl.
“The story was interesting,” Casanova wrote, “and the attention with which I listened to it was far from offending the inquisitive Gama, who would certainly have told me nothing if he knew how deeply I was involved and how great my interest in the story must be. I went to the opera at the Teatro Aliberti.”
This visit occurred in 1744. The theater was originally built in 1718 by Antonio D’Alibert for opera performances. At that time it was Rome’s largest theater, with seven tiers of boxes, though it was later enlarged even further in 1720. Though it was initially successful, it later went bankrupt and was sold, to be renovated and reopened in the 1730s, after a name change to the Teatro delle Dame. This is the version of the theater C would have visited, at the corner of Via Alibert and Via Margutta, not far from the Piazza di Spagna.
After other changes and permutations, the theater burned to the ground in February 1863. An inn was built on the site, and its latest incarnation is the Hotel Forte, which was flying its flag on the day I visited the street last summer with my guide Adriano Contini.