Another summer arrived in the beautiful city of Verona and with it the curtain of the 97th Verona Arena Opera Festival also opened. From 21st June to 7th September 2019, 5 operas will be represented in the well-known Roman amphitheatre by 80 internationally renowned soloists from all over the world: “La Traviata” (11 encore performances), “Aida” (16 encore performances) and “Il Trovatore” (5 encore performances) by Giuseppe Verdi, “Carmen” (10 encore performances) by Georges Bizet and “Tosca” (5 encore performances) by Giacomo Puccini.
There will be also special events and gala evenings scheduled: Roberto Bolle and Friends on 16/17th July, Placido Domingo 50 Arena Anniversary Night on 4th August and Carl Orff’s Carmina Burana on 11th August. A calendar full of events not to be missed.
The opera in three acts “La Traviata” was inaugurated in the 2019 Opera Season, in its brand-new and lavish production by Franco Zeffirelli, who died recently. A highly awaited sold out premiere that the whole world could admire through the live broadcasting, enriched and commented by famous personalities from the world of music, theatre, cinema and politics.
The story is that of Violetta, a young Parisian courtesan, loved and envied. The life she leads, which is dedicates to luxury and pleasures, certainly does not benefit her health and this will lead her to become ill with phthisis. Nowadays, “La Traviata” remains one of the most represented operas in the world. “Libiamo ne’ lieti calici” and “Sempre libera” are just some examples of very famous songs.
“Aida” is perhaps the most spectacular and fascinating opera proposed in the Verona Arena Opera Festival, as well as one of the best known. It is an opera in four acts, which tells of the love between the Ethiopian princess Aida, recently become a slave to the Egyptians, and an army commander, Radames. The latter, however, is also loved by Amneris, the pharaoh’s daughter. The revenge of Amneris for not being “the chosen one” by Radames will only bring death and destruction.
With the premiere of “Aida” which was brought to the stage on 22nd June last year, the number of representations of “Aida” in the world has become 700. The Arenian version of Gianfranco De Bosio takes up the very first historical production by Ettore Fagiuoli in 1913. There are numerous scenographic references to Egypt, from obelisks to sphinxes, which are well suited to the configuration of the Arena and contribute to make the atmosphere even more spectacular.
Represented for the first time in January 1853 at the Apollo Theatre in Rome, it is an opera divided into four acts and together with “Rigoletto” and “La Traviata” it is part of the so-called “Popular Trilogy”.
The setting is the Spain of the beginning of the fifteenth century. The plot is very intricate and difficult to summarize in a few words, but we can say that it is based entirely on the opposition between love and revenge, seen as life and death. Manrico and the Count of Luna, who are in love with the same woman, face each other to death as bitter enemies, without knowing that they are brothers.
In the masterpiece produced by Franco Zeffirelli in 2001, you see a play of sudden lights and shadows, iron and fire, swords, armour and fortifications in contrast with the colourful costumes of the gypsies; a story of battles of arms and feelings.
The opera of George Bizet, which is divided into four acts, was represented for the first time in Paris in March 1875 and we had to wait until November 1879 to see it arriving also in Italy, and at the Bellini Theatre in Naples. The story is all based on the tragic and bloody love story between Carmen, a seductive cigar seller, and Don José, a young brigadier.
The Arenian production is the one of Hugo de Ana, who shifted the original time setting by a century in the future, moving the story in the second half of the 1930s, during the Spanish Civil War. On the stage, we find military vehicles and metal fences, but there are also tributes to the iconic bullfighters with their typical costumes and to the “Plaza de Toros”, creating an arena within the Verona Arena itself.
Tosca: the most dramatic opera by Giacomo Puccini. It is an opera in three acts based on the binomial love – death. We are in nineteenth-century Rome when the lives of the painter Mario Cavaradossi and his lover Tosca intersect with those of a Bonapartist fugitive named Angelotti and the head of the papal police, the Baron Scampia.
The first performance of “Tosca” was held in Rome, at the Costanzi Theatre, in January 1900. The representation proposed in the Arena dates to 2006 and it is signed by the great Hugo de Ana. He was responsible for the direction, the scenes, the costumes and even the lights, all taken care of in the smallest details. That of Hugo de Ana is a very cinematic vision, which aims to exalt above all the psychology of the characters and the profound drama of the story.
What are you waiting for then? Book now your stay in one of the structures of the International Europe Hotel group and do not miss the opportunity to immerse yourself in the majesty and spectacularity of the operas and gala of the Arena di Verona Opera Festival.