The original building, called "Teatro Vecchio", was designed in 1565 by Andrea Palladio. Consisting entirely of a wooden structure, the theater was destroyed by a fire in 1629 and subsequently rebuilt in stone; the new building, inaugurated in the winter of 1637, was called "new" in memory of the previous one and hosted the first musical drama in Venice entitled Andromeda, poetry by Ferrari, music by Manelli. The new building was subsequently acquired by the Tron family.

Being at risk of ruin, it was rebuilt in 1763 based on a design by the architect Bognolo; in 1812 it was completely demolished.

The San Cassiano theater was the first public theater in Venice, so defined because it was directed by an impresario or general manager and offered not only to the nobility but open to the paying public.

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