The new location of the Sibiu State Philharmonic is, since the 7th of October 2004, the Thalia Hall, a cultural edifice of national importance. After its destruction during the fires of 1826 and 1949, in 1990 the Sibiu County Council began the reconstruction of the hall. The works were completed in 2004 and the first concert took place on the 29th of May 2004.
The Thalia Hall was built in 1787 by Martin Hochmeister, the initiator of the first bookstore from our country, and the construction is a true architectural jewel, with two balconies and the loge for the governor of Transylvania.
Unlike the main purpose of nowadays, to serve music, the hall was originally designed to host theatre shows. Since there wasn’t any appropriate space in the center of the city, it was decided to build the theater in the Thick Tower of the defense belt of the city.
The construction was raised in one year, so that in June 1788 the first show took place, thus inaugurating the first theater of the country and one of the most beautiful from Europe.
Over the years, famous personalities of the Romanian culture went on stage at Thalia, among which George Enescu and Mihai Eminescu. The latter was prompter in a play staged by Mihai Pascaly’s theatre group in a “national and artistic propaganda trip in Transylvania” in 1867.
It was the first show played in Romanian. The theatre group didn’t pay for the hall since it presented some free shows for the city poor. The press of that time reports that the shows were sold-out all the time, some shows having the city officials among the spectators.
Many of the spectators came from the Romanian villages around Sibiu.