The International Oboe Competition “Giuseppe Tomassini” is held at the Iride Theatre, a genuine jewel among the many historical theatres of the Marches region.

The story of the theatre began in 1869, when the Petritoli town council created a company for the construction of a theatre. The project was entrusted to the engineer Giuseppe Sabbatini, who based his design on the Fortuna Theatre in Fano, considered to be the most innovative theatre of the purist style that predominated at that time.

In fact, in shape, proportions, and decoration, the building seems to emulate the design of other famous eighteenth-century Italian theatres, such as the Teatro Massimo in Palermo and the Scala in


The auditorium has a high basement, supporting an huge order of Corinth columns, which frames two  orders of lofts bearing a balcony loggia. The interior is decorated with stuccos, gold leaf and painting on the ceiling  of the loggia.

Due to the loss of documentation, it is not possible to reconstruct the theatre’s history exactly: after its inauguration, in May 1877, it hosted a large number of concerts and plays, but during the post-war period the theatre was mainly used as a cinema hall, until its closure in 1957.

It reopened 1982, after major renovation, which restored the theatre to its original décor, with seasons of plays, concerts, events, and, of course, the International Oboe Competition “Giuseppe Tomassini”.