Collegium Ducale at Palace of Prisons - Opera singers

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December 2020

The Collegium Ducale Orchestra of Venice is born by the idea of a few musicians coming from the best orchestras of the Veneto region. This ensemble is well-know for his repertoire going from the Baroque period to the 20th century. Esteemed lead players bring their artistic contribution not only as part of the group, but also as virtuosos in their solo shows. The ensemble is engaged in research activities and studying of musical treaties in order to play to the audience classical pieces in according to the original performing spirit. The Orchestra is active in Venice since 1993 with the important concert season named ‘Venice and Europe: Music behind the History’.

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Palace of Prisons

The Palace of Prisons, together with the famous Palazzo Ducale Bridge of Sighs, which crosses the Rio di Palazzo, is the work of the architect Antonio da Ponte, who repeatedly, starting from 1589, construction started in 1563 by Giovanni Antonio Rusconi; completed by Antonio Contino and Thomas around 1614, it was called to partially compensate for the prisons of the Palazzo Ducale.


While the prisoners were forced into "camerotti" places along the river or overlooking the internal courtyards, three halls on the Riva degli Schiavoni overlooking the Bacino di San Marco and housed one of the oldest magistrates of the Republic of Venice (attested from the middle of thirteenth century), the Lords of the Night Criminal. These, six in number to represent the districts of the city, had not only to monitor and police, with vast expertise, but also functions of a judicial nature, which included education process and the conduct of interrogations of defendants and witnesses.


In the eighteenth century the above premises were used as the prison infirmary and home for all those suspicions and suspects who voluntarily presented themselves to justice. Here, during the Austrian domination, were relegated also (as recalled plates still visible) and Nicholas Daniele Manin Tommaseo, then taken from the cell 17 March 1848, following the popular uprising, to be called to form the interim government of city.

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