Opera in the Veneto is not confined solely to the majestic Arena at Verona: many other stages host works on stages no less suggestive. For more than 10 years this town of Oderzo (the ancient Roman Opitergum) has produced the smallest festival in the world, which in fact takes place in a large square amidst a fine artistic setting. A 40metre stage situated by the cathedral and surrounded by ancient buildings will once again this year pays host to some of the worlds great masters. The programme opens with The Trailers, a prelude of sorts, on 4, 5 and 6 July. With free entrance, spectators can watch on a giant screen the golden moments of the previous 3 years festivals. This years festival proper begins in the Piazza Grande on Friday 11 and Saturday 12 July (9p.m.) with the premier of a new production of Bizets Carmen with the Choir, ballet troupe and Orchestra of the Teatro Nazionale dellOpera of Maribor, conducted by Simon Robinson, and directed by Alessio Pizzech. Sunday 13 July in the Piazza del Foro Romano sees La biondina in gondoeta Barcarole e Gondoliere Veneziane (entrance free). Moving on to Saturday 27 September at the Palateatro (9p.m. a magnificent programme of music by G. Gershwin, L. Bernstein, M. Thedorakis, E. Morricone, J. Offenbach, A. L. Weber, and G.
Puccini. The season ends 7 December at the cathedral with a Night of the Stars (4p.m. entrance free).