In 1789 a competition was launched to establish the project for the new La Fenice theater. The architect Gianantonio Selva, who began directing the work from 1790, until its conclusion in 1792, was awarded the job (amid controversy from partisan supporters).

The advent of the French in Venice meant that the building acquired the function of a state theater. In this regard, the interior was modified with the addition of the imperial loggia (initially composed of a temporary structure and later redesigned by Selva himself in 1808).

New works were necessary due to the fire of 1836 which destroyed much of the structure, with the exception of a part of the main entrance and the walls. The brothers Tommaso and Giovanni Battista Meduna took care of the reconstruction project based on the original Selva project. A second series of interventions took place a century after the first fire, by Eugenio Miozzi (flanked by Nino Barbantini who took care of the interventions relating to the decorations).

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