1 of 8 Milan's La Scala, one of the world's most famous opera houses, closed in December 2001 to undergo extensive rebuilding and refurbishment. This is how it looked in May, ahead of its re-opening on Tuesday.
2 of 8 This is what it looked like by November, when it was opened to the press to see the progress made to one of the opera world's jewels.
3 of 8 The venue is re-opening with Antonio Salieri's work Europa Riconosciuta - which opened the original venue in 1778 but has not been performed since.
4 of 8 A new tower built behind the theatre to expand the backstage area has caused huge controversy. Photo: Marco Brescia/Teatro alla Scala.
5 of 8 Two thousand guests, including Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi, will attend the re-opening. Just 100 tickets were available to the public. Photo: Marco Brescia/Teatro alla Scala.
6 of 8 Its seats now have screens so opera buffs can see translations of the script in several languages.
7 of 8 La Scala temporarily moved to a new theatre in an industrial suburb in the north of the city while the building work was going on.
8 of 8 Backstage machinery has been updated and the city's deputy mayor said it was "a miracle" the budget was only exceeded by 10%. Photo: Marco Brescia/Teatro alla Scala.