86th Opera Festival 2008

From 20 June 2008 to 31 August 2008

Since 1913 the Arena has been home to the largest open-air opera concert season, in one of the best-preserved Roman ampitheatres in the world. Its origins lie in the local tenor singer Giovanni Zenatello who, on the 10 August of that monumentous year, wanted to celebrate the centennary of the birth of Guiseppe Verdi by staging the first performance of the opera Aida, which has become synonymous with the festival and its most popular work throughout its history, with 517 renditions over 48 editions.

The 86th Opera Festival takes place from 20 June until 31 August 2008, with 6 works and 50 performances organised by the Arena Foundation of Verona.

Opening the season on 20 June will be the perennial Aida, with a new performance based on the scenographic representation of the very first show in 1913, by the architect Ettore Fagiuoli. Conducted by Renato Palumbo and directed by Gianfranco De Bosio. Among the stars, Micaela Carosi and Amarilli Nizza in the role of Aida, Dolora Zajick and Marianne Cornetti as Amneris, while Marco Berti, Carlo Ventre and Piero Giuliacci in the part of Radames. Ambrogio Maestri and Alberto Mastromarino alterante in the role of Amonasro.

Further performances 28 June, 6-8-11-17-20-27 July, 3-8-17-21-24-26-31 August.

The second work, from 21 June, will be Puccinis Tosca, with direction, scenography and costumes by Hugo di Ana, renewing his celebrated 2006 production which was also made into a DVD. Conductor will be Guiliano Carella.

Among the cast, Nadia Mivhael in the starring role, Marcello Giordani and Carlo Ventre as Cavaradossi while Scarpia will be played by Alberto Mastromarino.

Repeat performances 27 June, 4-12-19-24 July, 1 August.22 June has Verdis Nabucco with direction, scenography and costumes by Denis Krief, premiered at the 2007 Festival to great applause and now available on DVD.

The work, conducted by Daniel Orenwill see prominent stars on the stage such as Leo Nucci and Ambrogio Maestri in the title role, and Maria Guleghina as Abigaille.

Repeat performances 26 June, 3-9-16-26 July, 7-29 August.

The fourth title in the season will be Carmen by Georges Bizet which premieres 5 July with further performances 10-13-15-18-25 July and 5-10-15-22-27-30 August in Franco Zeffirellis famous production inaugurated at the 1995 season and which has been revived many times by the master, the last time in 2003.

The role of Carmen, will be shared between Ildiko Komlosi and Marina Domashenko, whileMarco Berti vestir plays Don Jos. Conducted by Daniel Oren.

The fifth work is Rigoletto by Giuseppe Verdi, a revival of the 2003 production with direction by Ivo Guerra and scenography by Raffaele Del Savio. Conducted by Paolo Carignani, the first performance will be on the 2 August con 5 further shows on 6-9-20-23-28 and has Leo Nucci in the title role, Desire Rancatore (Gilda) and Roberto Aronica (Duca di Mantova).

The last work in the Festival 2008 will be Gounods Romo et Juliette commencing 16 August in a new production. Marcello Giordani and Angela Gheorghiu play the star-struck lovers in the Shakespearian tragedy.

For the seventh consecutive year UNICREDIT GROUP, the leading Italian banking group will be Official Sponsors for the festival, while for the third year other sponsors will be: INTIMISSIMI, of the Calzedonia group and leader in lingerie, VOLKSWAGEN, leader in Italy and internationally in the automobile sector.

By Insidecom Editorial Staff