88th Opera Festival 2010 Franco Zeffirelli and the Arena
From 18 June 2010 to 29 August 2010
Opera at the Verona Arena is a magical experience that has been renewed every year for almost a century. The first spell occurred with the staging of Verdis Aida in 1913, the year the 110th anniversary since the birth of Verdi was celebrated. An international audience rushed to watch the performance, amongst them Puccini, Mascagni, Boito and Kafka. The enthusiasm generated was so high that from that year onwards the Verona Arena became the most congenial stage for music representations as well as the most magnificent opera stage in the world.Given the size and space available, it was indeed the way representations were orchestrated and staged that changed for ever, with three-dimensional and monumental elements being used thereafter to replace the old painted scenes. Amongst the stars that came into being at the Arena we can recall Maria Callas, who gave here a brilliant performance of Ponchiellis La Gioconda in 1947 under Tullio Serafins direction.As the subtitle Franco Zeffirelli and the Arena suggests, the 2010 edition will be dedicated to the director from Florence, who has directed all the representations in this years calendar: Turandot (first staging on June 18th Puccinis Madame Butterfly (first staging on June 26th Aida (June 19th Giuseppe Verdis Il Trovatore (August 7th) and Bizets Carmen (July 10th). Turandot is for the first time represented with costumes and stage set especially designed for the Arena by the Oscar winner Emi Wada, who has also designed the amazing scenes for Madame Butterfly. The other stage sets are instead a tribute to the Arena festival as they are repeats of famous and successful representations held at the Arena in the past.The international cast of artists is also particularly impressive, with directors Placido Domingo, Giuliano Carella, Daniel Oren, Antonio Pirolli, Julian Kovatchev and Renato Palombo, and also actors Fiorenza Cedolins, Marcelo lvarez, Maria Guleghina, Marianne Cornetti, Hui He, Kristin Lewis, Amarilli Nizza, Svetla Vassileva, Tichina Vaughn, Marco Berti, Carlo Ventre and Ambrogio Maestri.