19th of June: the Opera Season for 2009 starts in the Arena of Verona!

Verona ArenaIn less than one month the 87th Lyrical Festival season will start in an unforgettable enclave, the Verona Arena, the third biggest Italian roman amphitheatre, built in the first century A.C.
With almost 2.000 years of history, the Arena has always been the stage for many performances and concerts.

During the roman years gladiators and lions would draw blood and fight here, in the Middle Ages games and tournaments were hosted and nowadays it is the biggest open space lyrical theatre in the world!

The Verona lyrical festival was inaugurated in 1913 with the Giuseppe Verdi's opera Aida, to celebrate the Italian compositor's 100th birthday. From that moment on there hasn't been a lyrical singer who doesn’t dream of playing in the enchanting Arena of Verona.

Maria Callas debuted in 1947 in the Arena and all of the most famous opera singers have sung here: Luciano Pavarotti, Montserrat Caballé, José Carreras and Plácido Domingo, who on the 24th of July 2009 will celebrate the 40th anniversary of his debut in the Arena!

Thanks to its exceptional acoustics, it is possible to listen to the singers from any place of this roman amphitheatre, even if it is an open air arena with a capacity of 15.000 people.

I have been to the Arena many times, but it always leaves me breathless with its sheer size and magnitude and I get shivers when I imagine that during the roman period the gladiators fought against lions.

This season the program includes the best of the best:Aida, Carmen, The Barber of Seville, Tosca and Turandot!

Only by going to a live opera can you get the feel of magic and poetry of such a unique experience, however it’s advisable not to go with small children as the shows are long.

Whether you attend an opera show or not make sure you don’t miss the public catwalk in Piazza Bra, outside the Arena, when at sunset, enjoying a yummy Italian ice cream, you get to see an amazing range of dressed-up audience that comes to see the opera, from sophisticated smoking jackets, beautiful dresses to odd t-shirts…Besides all this, you can also see members of the chorus and figurants getting ready for the great performance.

Verona city center
Finally, once inside, the last “gong” means that the show is starting, thousands of candles are lit and the Arena transforms into a magical place.

Viva lo spettacolo! May the show commence!!


Arena of Verona

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