Verona Opera Festival – Arena di Verona, August 24th to 28th

Verona Opera Festival

Incentive travel is one of those fields in which creativity and flexibility are of the essence. One size most definitely does not fit all. Having established that not all firms employ adventure trail enthusiasts, mountain bikers and fans of the seaside, we have offered you a few options for sports and arts fans, in order to offer your team an unique experience, tailored to their taste and passions. Sports fans will enjoy visiting Rome and Milan, which will play host respectively to the BNL Italian Open and the UEFA Champions League Final in the coming spring, whereas art and design enthusiasts will be drawn to the Triennial Design Exhibition in Milan. If art, culture and beauty are to be the pillars of your travel experience, however, opera can take your Italian travel experience to the next level. The Arena di Verona is the opera lover’s Mecca. Magnificent productions are hosted in this theatre every year, as part of the local opera festival. This year’s edition of the Verona Opera Festival is scheduled to take place from June 24th to August 28th and it will include five operas and a ballet night.

Verona Opera Festival 2016: What’s On

The festival will open with a special favourite of the Italian audiences: a production of Georges Bizet’s Carmen, designed in 1995 by Franco Zeffirelli and conducted, in this instance, by Xu Zhong and Julian Kovatchev throughout the 13 evenings scheduled for this masterpiece of french opera. Aida – possibly the most iconic opera ever produced at the Arena di Verona, will open on June 25th. This year’s production of Verdi’s majestic masterpiece follows the original 1982 one by director Gianfranco De Bosio and three conductors will be alternating on the podium throughout the production’s 16 performances: Julian Kovatchev, Andrea Battistoni and Daniel Oren. Those who have had the good fortune of seeing Aida performed in the Arena describe it as one of the most awe-inspiring experiences art can induce. Another masterpiece of Italian melodramma will be opening on July the 2nd: Giuseppe Verdi’s La Traviata, in a production that was originally created for the inauguration of the 2011 edition of Verona Opera Festival by Hugo de Ana, and conducted by Jader Bignamini and Fabio Mastrangelo. July the 23rd will se the opening night of the only opera by Puccini scheduled for this edition: Turandot. This production will, again, be a re-staging of Zeffirelli’s original from 2010 and the same choice was made for Verdi’s il Trovatore, which will be the last opera to open at the Arena in 2016.

Roberto Bolle and Friends

On July the 18th a special event will hit the arena, deviating from the otherwise 100% operatic programme of the season. International étoile Roberto Bolle will be the star of a glamorous gala night, that has fans all over the world pining for tickets months in advance. Bolle shines as a master of ceremonies as much as he does as a dancer and he is much in demand from the foremost names in contemporary ballet as a partner and co-star. Past collaborations include Paloma Herrera, Alessandra Ferri and Julie Kent. This year’s edition will be Bolle’s personal tribute to the masterpieces of classical ballet, with daring contemporary contaminations. This event is meant to be a thrilling experience for all audiences and there, among other things, lies Bolle’s great merit. Over the past decade, he has been using his well-deserved popularity to spearhead projects that bring classical music and ballet to a wider audience, so that they can go back to being what they were always meant to be: entertainment for the masses, rather than the privileged elites.

The Theatre

The Arena di Verona is a roman amphitheatre, dating back to the I century and it is the largest open-air theatre in the world. It is also the best known feature of the city, together with Romeo and Juliet’s famous balcony. Beside the Verona Opera Festival, a number of events are hosted in this impressive venue throughout the year, including pop concerts and charity galas. Contrary to what the casual observer may think, the Arena was not originally built to host what we would call artistic performances, such as concerts or plays. Its main purpose, just like the roman Colosseum, was to host gladiator fights, known as ludi (literally “games”). In the XVI century the Arena was partly restored to its original purpose and used for jousting, which can be seen as the renaissance equivalent of fighting and was certainly no less dangerous or violent. The building was damaged and restored several times through the centuries and it has consistently being restored from the XIX century to the present time, making it the best preserved amphitheatre of the imperial age.

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She is a part-time digital nomad. She would go full-time, if only she could stay away from Berlin for long enough without pining for a Pretzel. She was born in Italy and she enjoys life as an expat, but visits home often enough and can still remember how to bake a perfect lasagna. She is passionate about writing, marketing, languages and the systematic demolition of cultural stereotypes.

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