The project of the edifice, in the middle XIX century, was by Vincenzo Maestri. The name of the theatre comes from Gaetano Storchi, a rich benefactor who paid for its construction, as the plaque in the foyer demonstrates. The interior was painted by Forti.
The theatre still houses prose rather than opera (go to the Teatro Comunale Luciano Pavarotti°° for this). Modena had many important writers of that genre in the past.
Carlo Goldoni, maybe the most represented Italian playwright in the world, was born in Venice, however his paternal grandparents were Modenese: his surname is actually one of the most common in the town. It is said that the famous character of Mirandolina, in the Locandiera, was suggested to him by a housemaid of the village of the same name, in the plain. On the right side of the Teatro Comunale°°, a bust celebrates his Modenese origins.
Paolo Ferrari (1822-1889) was a famous playwriter, inspired by Goldoni’s style: his birthplace is in via dei Servi°. His masterpiece is Goldoni e le sue sedici commedie nuove. Ferrari was also a great supporter of the Risorgimento.
Virginia Reiter, born in Modena in 1862, and dying here in 1937, the actress of German origins who was very famous in the Italy of the late XIX century. Her best interpretation was the Madame Sans-Gêne by V. Sardou. The boulevard in front of the theatre and its foyer are now dedicated to Virginia.