In this new atmosphere, the Donizetti took on a continuous technical structure and could better plan its activities. Missiroli was thus able to launch a notable initiative, the Teatro delle Novità, (The Theatre of New Features) that is, the presentation – on a national scale and of an experimental nature – of unpublished works to make known and support new Italian musical energies. The prelude to this glorious adventure (which lasted from 1937 to 1973) was the 1935 opera season, in which, alongside repertoire works, Paolo e Virginia, was performed, an absolute new feature composed by Gianandrea Gavazzeni, who would shortly afterwards begin a brilliant career as a conductor and collaborate with his friend Missiroli on the renewal of the Donizetti.
The Teatro delle Novità had great resonance throughout the country, with echoes abroad as well, and served to affirm not only new composers, singers, set designers and directors, inviting them to work in an experimental manner on a stage, but also that of the Donizetti, which became a veritable laboratory of the performing arts. Experimental compositions in music, texts, scripts, and costumes were staged. Some shows were highly successful such as Ferrovia sopraelevata (1955) the first opera composed by Luciano Chailly on a text by Dino Buzzati; La panchina (1956) with a text by Italo Calvino and music by Sergio Liberovici.
Meanwhile, there was the 1940-1945 war. The years were extremely dramatic, but even in this period, the shows performed a necessary cultural function. Reduced opera seasons were held with the presence of the orchestra and singers from La Scala, which had been displaced by the war. The post-war period marked a reawakening in the intellectual, social, and economic life of the city, with a resurgent interest in all forms of entertainment.
In 1948 some Donizetti publications came to light, and it can be said that in that year, largely thanks to Bindo Missiroli, the Donizetti Renaissance took root, that is, the phenomenon that would lead to the recovery, re-proposal, and knowledge of the works of the musician from Bergamo that had been performed little or had disappeared from the stage. Missiroli was also credited with the presence of the most celebrated musicians and famous performers, such as the soprano Maria Callas in the 1954 première of Lucia di Lammermoor (the artist had already been to the Donizetti in 1951).
The Prose Theatre, which had been absent from the Donizetti since the 1930s, was re-established and Armand Salacrou’s Le notti dell’Ira was staged. This was the first of a long series of performances by the Piccolo Theatre of Milan directed by Giorgio Strehler.
In 1952 two concerts officially consecrated jazz as a genre worthy of being heard at the Donizetti Theatre as much as classical music or opera. The first was scheduled for 6th February with the Dizzy Gillespie Orchestra. The more snobbish audience did not understand the new proposal and left the hall, but those who decided to stay went wild with American-style applause and whistles that were completely unheard of in that place. The second concert was scheduled for 17th November with Sidney Bechet’s soprano saxophone group and Claude Luter with his orchestra and was once again a success; yet despite the consensus of the press and the public, the municipal administration would no longer support initiatives of this kind.
In the meantime, the Theatre underwent several interventions. After being closed for a few years, the renovated Theatre officially reopened to the public on 10th October 1964 with a performance of Donizetti’s opera Lucia di Lammermoor, conducted by Gianandrea Gavazzeni and starring Renata Scotto