HEARLD NEWS FOR THE COMING SUMMER … ROLLING OVER TO THE ARENA DI VERONA …100 YEARS OF SUCCESSES!

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Late afternoon there was a press call at the Italian Culture Institution in Budapest, regarding to the announcement of wide-spread of programs to come during the summer of 2013,  at the Arena Di Verona.   Upon the press gathering spoke with Carrado Ferraro, Sales and Maketing Director and Francesco Girondini,  2008, Superintendent of the Opera and Symphony Foundation Arena,  (previously ’94-’98  Deputy Mayor of the city of Verona) and also they both shared interesting information about the high seasons events. The 2000 years old Arena  will be celebrating its 100 years anniversary of consistently on repertoire: opera, ballet and theater plays. As to the celebration of its 100 years, 200 breathtaking sites-and-sounds will be on stage.  Was also told, that before each arena show, the arena can be visited on a tour to see, hear about its history, along with the famous shinning stars who once step out  under the moon light at this historical scene.  No doubt , Verona is the  City of musical works. The Arena di Verona became the first open air opera house in Italy, and the largest in the world: a record it still holds today. With the Opera Festival, Italian and international culture has been enriched with a new way of presenting the performing arts, a feature that has helped to make Verona one of the European capitals of music. Last year, AIDA was out on stage on 600 occasions. This year the Arena de Verona opens with AIDA, with invited international guests. Each year the  general public is from Europe.  Naturally, most of the visitors  52-55% are from Italy, Germany and Austria takes 25% and of course there are Opera lovers from the other side of the Ocean.  The arena hold 13ooo to14ooo sear, but all depends which show goes on stage, how much space is needed for the performances. This year it will be the a most sophisticated, representative show. The opening of the Opera Festival in the middle of June, for almost a century, represents an important media and cultural event for not just for the City of Verona, but as well for all visitors whose ears are sharp for a pleasant evening at the opera.

Indeed, the open-air theaters are unique by themselves, cause the  “stars above the skies” specifies the natural light.

Just going back in time, in 1913 many things happened around the world … the Opel made vehicle came out, the opening of the Panama channel, the brand Camel cigarette stepped into the tobacco shops and many headlines of Budapest’s natural hot springs were just to open to the public.

BACK TO THE FUTURE …

THE ARENA DI VERONA: 1913 – 2013.

… “My father was sitting at a table at the Löwenbrau,” recounts Nina Zenatello Consolaro, daughter of the tenor Giovanni Zenatello, “together with the Maestro Tullio Serafin, Ferruccio Cusinati, Ottone Rovato and the singer Maria Gay. They were talking about music, of course, opera music and Giuseppe Verdi. Suddenly my father pointed to the Arena and with triumph in his voice said, “Look, this is the theatre I’m looking for. This is where performances unique in the world could be held.” At the first test of the acoustics Zenatello raised his eyes to the starlit heaven and, as if by unconscious vocation, burst out with the first of the one thousand Celeste Aida renderings at the Arena. The tenor Zenatello and the theatrical impresario Ottone Rovato took on the financial risk of promoting a great opera performance at the Arena to commemorate the one hundredth anniversary of Giuseppe Verdi’s birth: on 10th August 1913 Aida went on the boards with Zenatello himself in the role of Radamès and Ester Mazzoleni as Aida, Tullio Serafin was on the podium and the scene sets were by Ettore Fagiuoli. The success was sensational and decreed so by a public coming from every part of the world. The most illustrious guests included Arrigo Boito, Giacomo Puccini, Pietro Mascagni, Ildebrando Pizzetti, Riccardo Zandonai, Massimo Gorki and Franz Kafka.

This was also the start of the brilliant history of the Arena Orchestra and Chorus, and of their conductors who consider performing at the Arena to be a unique honour and a noteworthy engagement, as well as an emotion that it is difficult to become used to. The musicians who have stood on the podium have differed widely in training, culture and style, and include three celebrated directors and composers: Pietro Mascagni in 1921, Riccardo Zandonai in 1939 and Mikis Theodorakis in 1988. After Tullio Serafin there have been many other great names: Sergio Failoni, Antonino Votto, Gino Marinuzzi, Vittorio Gui, Franco Capuana, Francesco Molinari Pradelli, Rudolf Kempe, Argeo Quadri, Gianandrea Gavazzeni, Lovro von Matacic, Elihau Inbal, Nello Santi, Peter Maag, Giuseppe Patanè, Michel Plasson, Anton Guadagno, Yuri Ahronovitch, Donato Renzetti, Gustav Kuhn, Daniel Oren, Riccardo Muti, Lorin Maazel, Zubin Mehta, Georges Prêtre.

The greatest opera singers of the XX Century have also trod the boards of the Arena, starting with the debut of a very young Maria Callas in the role of Gioconda, in the opera of the same name by Ponchielli, in the evening of 2nd August 1947. And the names of many other singers, directors, set designers and dancers have been linked to the Festival seasons: Aureliano Pertile, Giacomo Lauri Volpi, Gina Cigna, Beniamino Gigli, Ebe Stignani, Carlo Tagliabue, Maria Caniglia, Tito Schipa, Mario Del Monaco, Renata Tebaldi, Giulietta Simionato, Gino Bechi, Giuseppe Di Stefano, Magda Olivero, Tito Gobbi, Franco Corelli, Virginia Zeani, Renata Scotto, Montserrat Caballè, Mirella Freni, Fiorenza Cossotto, Plácido Domingo, Luciano Pavarotti, Renato Bruson, Piero Cappuccilli, José Carreras, Salvatore Licitra, Luciana Novaro, Leonide Massine, Roberto Fascilla, Mario Pistoni, Carla Fracci, Paolo Bortoluzzi, Luciana Savignano, Maurice Bejart, Gheorghe Iancu, Vladimir Vassiliev, Rudolf Nureyev, Nicola Benois, Georg Pabst, Herbert Graf, Attilio Colonnello, Sandro Bolchi, Pietro Zuffi, Jean Vilar, Pier Luigi Pizzi, Luciano Damiani, Luciano Minguzzi, Vittorio Rossi, Gianfranco De Bosio, Beni Montresor, Remo Brindisi, Giuliano Montaldo, Sylvano Bussotti, Werner Herzog, Franco Zeffirelli.

So far there have been 89 seasons, the only interruptions being for the two world wars, under various private and public managements: in 1936 the Ente Autonomo Spettacoli Lirici Arena di Verona (the Autonomous Arena of Verona Opera Performances Board), often called simply the Ente Lirico Arena di Verona, was founded. This was when the office of General Manager was introduced. And in 1967 the Artistic Director was introduced to work together with the General Manager. In 1998 the Ente Autonomo Arena di Verona was transformed into a Foundation under private law, and the present Fondazione Arena di Verona was instituted, which has been in force since 22nd June 1998. The entry of private partners represented a very big change in the life of the Arena, bringing new impetus on the cultural level. The Foundation, in fact – like the former Ente Lirico Arena di Verona – is not dedicated to the pursuit of profit but aimed mainly at developing the city’s most important artistic activity, guaranteeing the quality of the performances and increasing their power to attract the public, as well as promoting musical education in society in general. Since 3rd April 2008 the General Manager Francesco Girondini has been at the helm of the Foundation.

Common denominators of all managements are the unique and prestigious performances: from 1913 to 2011 Giuseppe Verdi was the main author on the stage of the Arena, with his operas that are particularly suitable for the Verona amphitheatre, not only for their great epic and historic significance, as in Nabucco and Aida (of which there have been 52 versions, and 581 performances), but also for the particular scene-setting possibilities that the Arena allows also for more intimate and personal themes like those of La Traviata, Otello, Rigoletto.

But the magic of the Arena is not limited to the on-stage experience: the Amphitheatre offers nothing less than a genuine spectacle in itself, a performance within a spectacle, starting with the spell-binding ritual of lighting the candles, which precedes the start of every performance. A custom that was first conceived at the Arena and which has now been exported to all places where outdoor performances are held.

In addition to the summer Festival, since 1975 the Verona opera board has extended its artistic activity by organising, from October to May, symphonic, opera and ballet performances in the nearby Teatro Filarmonico, rebuilt after being destroyed by the bombardments of the last war. With this expansion, the repertory artistic groups were instituted – the Orchestra, the Chorus and the Ballet Corps – as well as the technicians and the administrative structure, which since then have contributed to spreading the image of the Arena di Verona throughout the world, with about 50 performances in the Arena and 70 at the Teatro Filarmonico, as well as many other performances in Italy and foreign tours. This intense work makes the Artistic Groups of the Arena world ambassadors of Italian culture, of which melodrama is one of the most important expressions. Since 2010 the Teatro Filarmonico Season has opened every year on 13th December with a new opera production, and the programme of operas, ballets and concerts closes the following year in November, with a summer break in the Arena.

AHEAD TO THE FUTURE …

ROLL OVER TO VERONA NOT JUST FOR OPERA LOVERS!

SHAKESPEARE SAW SOMETHING CAPITIVATING WHEN HE WROTE ROMEO AND JULLIETTE TO TAKE PLACE AT VERONA. NOW THE TIME HAS COME TO PAY A VISIT AND  BESIDE  VISITING THE OPERA FESTIVAL STROLL ALONG THE ANCIENT PATHS OF VERONA.

“From 14th June to 8th September 2013, 58 performances for 6 titles and 4 Gala nights welcome you at the Arena di Verona for the 91st edition of the Opera Festival, dedicated to the great composer Giuseppe Verdi, on the occasion of the bicentennial of his birth. In order to celebrate the first century of the Arena di Verona Opera Festival, and to inaugurate the next 100 years of great opera, the Centennial Festival 2013 will see the very well-known Plácido Domingo as Honorary Artistic Director; he will also be conductor and singer on the greatest stage in the world. 

The new awaited set design of Aida by La Fura dels Baus will inaugurate the Festival. Aida, the opera in the Arena par excellence, will be also displayed in its 1913 Recalling by Gianfranco de Bosio, starting from 10th August. From 15th June, Nabucco will be on stage, together with Verdi’s Popular Trilogy, composed by La Traviata (from 22nd June), Il Trovatore (from 6th July) and Rigoletto (from 9th August). From 31st August, also Roméo et Juliette by Charles Gounod, a permanent opera of the Arena repertoire, will be on stage.

Then we will enjoy Verdi’s music again, with Messa da Requiem, on 13th July: the Arena di Verona Orchestra and Chorus, together with the Orchestra and Chorus of the Teatro La Fenice in Venice, will be conducted by Myung-Whun Chung. On 17th July, a Gala will be dedicated to the composer from Busseto, with three great conductors who will be protagonists on stage: Andrea Battistoni, Riccardo Frizza and Giuliano Carella.

2013 will also be the year of the bicentennial of the German composer Richard Wagner’s birth. On 15th August, a Gala will be dedicated to him and to Verdi, starring the young and famous Daniel Harding, who will conduct Plácido Domingo together with the greatest singers of Wagner’s repertoire, such as Evelyn Herlitzius, Violeta Urmana, Vitalij Kowaljow, and Verdian singers such as Martina Serafin. Completes the programme the 20th August Gala, in which Daniel Oren will conduct the winners of the latest editions of the Operalia competition, promoted by the Mr. Domingo.”

Further information, tickets, accommodations etc. log on to http://www.arena.it

 

 Updated by Aggie Reiter

6 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by Chris on 29/01/2013 at 01:21

    Outstanding background work by the reporter ………Many thanks ..Chris

    Reply

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