With the diffusion of opera, at the beginning of 17th century, the theatre changes its role from an elite court show to a public place, open to  everyone.

In the province of Reggio Emilia, the theatres of Correggio, Guastalla, Luzzara, Novellara and Reggiolo were born in 19th century and are similar to Municipale Theatre in Reggio and Regio Theatre in Parma. The theatre of Novellara is the heir of a little court theatre of 16th century: it is inside Gonzaga fortress and for this reason the exterior is anonymous while the interior is a charming opera theatre. Ruggeri theatre in Guastalla dates back to 17th century and here prose show are mainly represented. Asioli theatre in Correggio was built in 1666 and afterward restored following a 1852 design, when it was opened with an opera show. Destroied by a fire in 1889, its entrance was renewed with a fronton and three gates. The municipal theatre of Boretto has mainly prose shows. In Bagnolo there is Gonzaga theatre. Herberia theatre in Rubiera is the last restored one, in compliance with historical-architectural heritage and show requirements. The Municipale Theatre in Reggio Emilia design dates 1852 but the presence of a Cittadella theatre is witnessed by Ariosto Theatre too, built on the place of the former show hall, destroyed by a fire in 1740.

Today the main music, opera and prose shows take place on these two stages. Reggio Emilia in one of the most active towns for cultural initiatives, with a strong experience in education and training fields. Besides historical places of study and research like the public Library “A.Panizzi”, the interesting Civic Museums of Natural Science “L.Spallanzani” and the Record Office, the city has other important activities carried on by the Theatres Consortium and the Culture department inside S.Domenico complex. Reggio is the base of the Ballet Regional Centre and “Ater Balletto” company. The two big theatres and many multi purpose halls allows a program of music and dance in Municipale Theatre “Valli”, prose in Ariosto Theatre, innovative prose and contemporary dance in Cavallerizza theatre, and particular experiences like “Reggio Emilia Jazz e oltre” and “Di nuovo musica”.

One is the top show of afro american rhytms, symbol of Reggio Emilia opening to different musics, a gathering of jazz musicians and ethnic ones from all over the world. The second is one of the most original events in this area, organized by “Festival Wien Modern” and Claudio Abbado, it’s a sperimental show that involves new generations, from nursery school to university, through ethnic and extra european cultural contribution.