The Theatre

Tones Teatro Natura is the major new Tones on the Stones project that through environmental reclamation is transforming the former Cava Roncino industrial quarry into a permanent theatre immersed in nature.

The former gneiss quarry is located at Oira, a tiny hamlet in the Ossola Valley, surrounded by woods, terraced vineyards and old stone villages. The surrounding landscape highlights the extent to which the this is closely tied to the quarrying and working of stone, evident in the extensive use of the material in the local rural architecture. Historical, economic and cultural heritage that Tones on the Stones has always tried to present and valorize.

The conversion of what was an industrial space into a Home of Culture has been conceived above all in favour of the younger generations and those to come, with the objective of facilitating the exchange of inclusive and courageous ideas, projects and visions.

In a period that has revealed all the fragility of the urban system and while theatres throughout the world have been closed for over a year, constructing a Teatro Natura, a theatre in nature, seemed to us to be the most stimulating of challenges and an opportunity to revitalize of an area of great natural beauty and immense touristic potential.

Tones Teatro Natura will become the permanent home of Tones on the Stones, a space for site-specific productions, for projects co-produced with international partners, a place for the launching of educational workshops for artists and activities for students and the general public on environmental and sustainability themes.

The theatre will facilitate Tones on the Stones’ vocation for research within the ambit of digital technologies applied to the production of live open air shows and experimental audio-visual projects with artists in residence.

A space that represents a breath of fresh air in which we can meet, discuss and create, in which the digital is totally at the service of the analogue that, especially in this pandemic time, appears to be the most precious aspect of the creative process.

Architectural project curated by Fuzz Atelier


The project has been configured as a site-specific intervention capable of valorizing the natural setting through a modular and flexible compositional strategy open to diverse modes of use. The functional disposition of the design is based on the geometric lines defined by the quarry, following the morphology of the landscape.

As well as providing for spaces for events, the project also takes into account those vital accessory functions that enable the activities to be conducted. The masterplan features two stages, the construction of a ticket office, catering and bar areas, a technical area and an area for workshops.

The theatre in numbers

Two stages, 1,500 seats, space for 2,000 standing spectators


The architectural strategy is based on three fundamental principles: modularity – transparency – flexibility. These three aspects have determined an approach in constant dialogue with the surrounding nature and with the future users who will be able to mould the space to suit their needs. The construction process involves a stratification of three principal components: a modular steel structure, modular facing panels in local stone and prefabricated volumes.

The area dedicated to the events presents the distinctive characteristics of theatrical architecture, prefiguring a symmetrical compositional configuration despite the irregularities of the quarry walls. The design develops around a central void around which, on the longer sides of the quarry, the structures housing the accessory activities are set.

The project stands as an architectural-environmental work capable of establishing a novel dialogue with the natural setting and the history of the site, permitting a narrative continuity that draws on the roots of the past and passing on to future generations the possibility of continuing to experience these spaces, contributing to their transformation.

The sustainability of Tones Teatro Natura


We are promoting the constitution of a group of environmental education and storytelling staff and volunteers connecting the public and the theatre’s environmental heritage. They will be the curators of the site and promotors of the space’s cultural, social and environmental values. The Green Sentinels will help explain to the public how the theatre was born and illustrate those basic rules that will help us experience and exploit its potential to the full.

Would you like to become a Green Sentinel?  Please write to us at


Thanks to the contribution of the Rotary Club Pallanza Stresa and Verbano Cusio Ossola, you will find a drinking water distributor at Tones Teatro Natura. Come to the festival with your canteen, or purchase one at the ticket office. We do not sell bottles and other items in single-use plastic at the bar.


Tones Teatro Natura has organized a differentiated rubbish disposal system that is monitored; please help us to generate an ever-smaller quantity of undifferentiated rubbish.

Would you like to stage an event
at Tones Teatro Natura?

Please write to