In past centuries, the Orchard Theatre looked very different from its present state. At one time, in fact, it occupied the area beyond the wood almost reaching the open countryside; it was separated by the perimeter wall of the villa proper.
Among the numerous changes that the Orchard Theatre underwent, the most significant are certainly those that occurred in the 18th century, when the 17th-century theatre was renamed and redefined spatially as a “large parterre” opening towards the southern façade of the villa, built by Ruggeri. This served as a perspective backdrop, thus leading the Castellazzo into a new phase of fame because of its image as a wonderful example of a French landscaped garden.
The ambitious reference model was the Palace of Versailles, where great prospects, water features/fountains and well-manicured environments were lost in more savage and wooded areas. Giuseppe Antonio Arconati and probably, Giovanni (sometimes Jean) Gianda, scholar in the art of gardening, were key players in redefining the image of the “Castellazzo di Bollate.”
As a result of cultural programming and the requalification of the territory, the space where the Orchard Theatre stands, has hosted the Music Festival of Bollate for several years now; it is a summer event that has been very successful and slowly growing even beyond its natural borders from the parterre to the southern part of the park appurtenance of the villa.
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