Who we are

Here is who we are, the organization of the Arena Foundation and the history of the oldest Opera Festival in the world

History of the Opera Festival

The Opera Festival at the Arena di Verona began in 10th August 1913, with the first performance of Aida organized by Verona tenor Giovanni Zenatello and impresario Ottone Rovato to commemorate the centenary of the birth of Giuseppe Verdi.

For over a hundred years (except for two short breaks during the two World Wars), every summer the Roman amphitheatre is transformed into the world’s largest open-air opera theatre.

The current organization is the result of the reform ratified by Decree-law N° 134 of 1998 and Decree-law 134 of 1998, which transformed enti lirici (opera institutions) into private law foundations, thus creating the current Fondazione Arena di Verona, and offering private members the possibility of joining. The current founding members of the Foundation are the Republic of Italy, the Veneto Region, the Municipality of Verona, the Province of Verona and Verona Chamber of Commerce. Fondazione Cariverona, Banca Popolare di Verona and the Accademia Filarmonica of Verona were founding members in the past.

The foundation’s institutional objective is to carry out non-profit cultural activity of a public utility nature, pursuing the spread of musical art and the musical education of the community.


The Arena figures

1989 years of life from its construction in 30 AD between the rule of Augustus and that of Claudio, the largest Roman amphitheatre still in use, with 97 Opera Seasons, 106 years since the first season, an effective seating capacity of 30,000, 31 metres high, an oval measuring 140 x 100 metres; on average each season, 1263 people work there, including 80 singers, 160 orchestra members, 158 artists in the chorus, 32 artists in the children’s choir, 15 accompanists, 54 dancers, 30 mimes and acrobats, 200 extras, 25 child extras, 5 stage management staff, 4 assistant directors, 70 stage technicians, 22 electricians, 60 tailors, seamstresses and dressing staff, 4 Costume Management staff, 23 make-up and hair artists, 48 set builders, 10 maintenance technicians, 12 instrument porters, 143 usherettes, 48 back-stage usherettes, 60 administration office staff. 4,500 costumes and 325 hours of make-up for each season. An average of 125 shows with over 400,000 paying spectators per season.

Social and digital world: had 2,678,833 visits in 2018 alone
FACEBOOK more than 388,845 fans
TWITTER 26,874 followers and 5,000 interactions (retweets, replies, likes and mentions)
INSTAGRAM has accumulated 12,390 followers since 2018

If the future is digital, the Arena is our future!




General Manager/Sovrintendente Cecilia Gasdia 
General Manager Assistant and
Communication and Archives Assistant
Romy Gaida
General Director Gianfranco De Cesaris
Artistic Director Cecilia Gasdia
Deputy Artistic Director Stefano Trespidi
Communication and Archives Manager - 
Programming Coordinator  Raffaele Polcino
Production Manager Stefano Mazza
Director of Stage Design Michele Olcese
Director of Technical Operations and Security Vincenzo Castronuovo

Director of Human Resources - Trade Union Relation
Legal business

Francesca Tartarotti 
Human Resources Manager  Clara Bogoni
Administration and Management Control Manager Andrea Delaini
Procurement and Logistic Manager Alberto Peretti 
Sales and Marketing Manager Cecilia Gasdia ad interim
Ticketoffice manager Teresa Dalla Val teresa.dallaval@arenadiverona
Assistant of the General Manager for Security Vincenzo Castronuovo 
Person in charge for the corruption prevention Cecilia Gasdia 
Transparency Manager Francesca Tartarotti
Data Protection officer
(Reg. Europeo 679/2016 - art. 37 par. 7 del RGPD)
Giovanni Santosuosso