Arena di Verona

Artistic Personnel

Orchestra

The history of the Arena di Verona’s Orchestra and its conductors began on 10th August 1913, when Tullio Serafin, with a historical Aida, inaugurated the first performance of opera in the Roman amphitheatre, Arena di Verona. 

Musicians with widely varied musical education, culture and style have alternated on the podium of the world’s most evocative open-air theatre. These have included three conductor-composers: Pietro Mascagni who conducted Il Piccolo Marat in 1921, Riccardo Zandonai who conducted Giulietta e Romeo in 1939 and Mikis Theodorakis, who conducted the ballet Zorba the Greek in 1988.

Other conductors who have directed the Arena Orchestra over the years include 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, Andrea Battistoni, Gustav Kuhn, Daniel Oren, Riccardo Muti, Lorin Maazel, Zubin Mehta and Georges Prêtre.

The Arena di Verona Orchestra also performs during the winter season at the Teatro Filarmonico and Teatro Ristori, with a repertoire ranging from Baroque to Romantic and Contemporary music. Its ensembles are also very active at regional level.

International tours are also important: in 1982 and 1984 in Vienna with Aida by Verdi; in 1986 in Vienna again with Turandot by Puccini; in 1987 in Luxor (Egypt) with Aida; in 1989 in Tokyo with Aida and in 1991 in Tokyo again with Turandot; in 1994 in Frankfurt with Nabucco by Verdi; in 1995 in Frankfurt again with La Bohème by Puccini; in 1995 in Vienna and Zurich with Nabucco; in 1996 in Berlin, again with Nabucco, through to Aida performed at Dortmund’s Westfalenhalle in 1997; in Beijing in 2000 with Tosca by Puccini; in February 2010, at the Tokyo International Forum Hall with Aida and a spectacular Gala with Plácido Domingo. In 2011, the Orchestra took part in the 26th edition of the Music Biennale Zagreb and the prestigious Masada - Dead Sea and Jerusalem Opera Festival, with an Opera Gala in Jerusalem and a performance of Verdi’s Messa da Requiem at Masada.  Also in 2011, the Orchestra performed an imposing production of Puccini’s Turandot by Franco Zeffirelli at the Royal Opera House Muscat, the Capital of the Sultanate of Oman, where it returned in 2014 to perform Bellini’s I Capuleti e I Montecchi and again in 2015 with Turandot. In July 2017 the Orchestra performed an unforgettable concert at the Brunnenhof der Residenz in Munich, with over 15 minutes of applauses.

In January 2018 the Orchestra returned at the Royal Opera House Muscat with Bellini’s La Sonnambula, staged in the production with direction, set design and costumes by Hugo de Ana, and in September for the Gala Zarzuela with Plácido Domingo.

In September 2018 it also takes part to the charity marathon La notte di Andrea Bocelli, a show hosted at the Arena di Verona and broadcast on RAI 1, RAI PLAY and RADIO 2.

In May 2019 the Orchestra, hosted in Munich, returns to success with the Amore & Amicizia concert in the Herkulessaal of the Bavarian Residence.

In 2020 marked by the pandemic, the Orchestra resumes activities with the Summer Festival at the Arena di Verona in the unprecedented center-stage set-up and is the protagonist of eleven concerts that bring new repertoires to the Verona Amphitheater: the Venetian Baroque, Mozart, Rossini, Wagner. After three more concerts in Verona's main squares, there follows a winter artistic season streamed from the Teatro Filarmonico, until the 2021 Arena Festival, inaugurated by the performance of Aida in concert form conducted by Riccardo Muti. 

In January 2022 the Orchestra has returned to open the Royal Opera House Muscat's 10-year anniversary season with a new production of Rigoletto according to Zeffirelli, also broadcast by Rai Cultura. 

The following is a list of our orchestra’s permanent members:

 

First Violins  
Gelsomini Sofia (concertino) Leonardo Giovine
Peter Szanto (concertmaster)  Gunther Sanin (concertmaster)
Dario Carbone Fahriye Ozlem Adiguzel
Bruno Dona' Mara Sistino
Roberto Lanni Serena Chien
Camillo Papitto Elisabetta Fable
Paolo Arduini D'Amico Michela
Lyn Vladimir Mari  

 

Second Violins  
Quentin Capozzoli1 Vincenzo Quaranta1
Antonino Enna Giuliana Santi 
Viktor Csanyi Corrado Menegazzo
Claudia Irene Tessaro Aleš Lavrenčič
Agnese Tasso  

 

Violas  
Giuseppe Mari 1 Chiara Ommassini
Alberto Danelon Massimiliano Di Stefano
Sergio Gavioli Malgorzata Maria Kulka

 

Cellos  
Sara Airoldi 1 Alexander Zyumbrovskiy
Ilir Bakiu Marco Venturini
Savina Zampieri Martin Pratissoli
Stefanelli Francesco  

 

Basses  
Riccardo Mazzoni1 Luca Bissoli
Silvetti Valerio Zabadneh Matteo

 

Flutes / Piccolo  
Pier Filippo Barbano1 Boschi Elisa (ottavino)
Chiara Ronchi Piccinelli D'anto' Lorenzo 

 

Oboes / Corn anglais  
Francesca Rodomonti 1 Matteo Forla 1
Francesco Pomini (corn anglais) Fabrizio Baldon

 

Clarinets / Bass Clarinet   
Giampiero Sobrino 1 Lorenzo Paini 1
Bruno Matteucci (bass clarinet)
Maurizio Trapletti 

 

Bassoons  
Paolo Guelfi 1 Lanfranco Martinelli 1
Domenico Faccin Emilio Gueli

 

Horns  
Andrea Leasi 1 Paolo Armato 1
Daniele Sala Oreste Campedelli
Domenico Guglielmello Claudio Carta

 

Trumpets  
Massimo Longhi 1 Angelo Pinciroli 1
Pierfranco Rubagotti Elena Foroni

 

Trombones  
Giancarlo Roberti 1 Diego Gatti 1
Domenico Brancati  

 

Bass Tuba 
Giambattista Micheletti

 

Timpani 
Franco Giovanni 1

 

Percussion
Alessandro Carobbi  (xylophone, vibraphone marimba & suchlike)
Mattia Pia

1 Principals

 

Chorus

The Arena di Verona’s Chorus dates back to the very beginning of opera performance in the Amphitheatre, on 10th August 1913. Its first Chorus Masters were Ferruccio Cusinati and Vittore Veneziani. They were followed by Giulio Bertola, Corrado Mirandola, Tullio Boni, Aldo Danieli, Armando Tasso, Romano Gandolfi, Marco Faelli, Giovanni Andreoli, Salvo Sgrò and Vito Lombardi. 

All the glorious moments of Verona’s Amphitheatre infallibly coincide with performances of operas with a fundamental choral role and an impressive use of multiple voices which allows the delivery of grandiose performances which are most adept to the immense spaces of the Arena.  It is no coincidence that the Arena’s operas par excellence are those with the most chorus parts, such as Aida, La Gioconda and Nabucco. The “Va’ pensiero” from the latter continues to arouse thrilled ovations from spectators, who never tire of asking for repeat performances.

The following are the great operas in which the Chorus plays an essential role:  Aida, Nabucco, La Forza del destino, Otello, Il Trovatore, Carmen,Turandot, La Gioconda, Norma, Mefistofele, Faust, Samson et Dalila and Boris Godunov. As well as its fundamental contribution to the operas, the Chorus has also staged unforgettable concerts at the Arena: Verdi’s Messa da Requiem, Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony, Berlioz’s Damnation de Faust and Perosi’s Resurrezione di Cristo.  The Chorus also performs alongside the Arena’s Orchestra during the winter opera and symphonic season at the Teatro Filarmonico and the Teatro Ristori as well as in other venues in Verona and Italy.

The Arena di Verona’s Chorus also has important international performances to its credit: Berlin’s Deutschlandhalle from 1977 to 1980, the Vienna Stadthalle in 1980, ’82, and ’84, in Luxor (Egypt), in the locations in which Aida is set, in 1987, in Tokyo in 1989 and 1991, Beijing in 2000, as well as in Munich, Frankfurt, Zurich, Dortmund, Hamburg and Stuttgart. In 2011 it performed at the Royal Opera House in Muscat, capital of the Sultanate of Oman, starring in a magnificent Turandot by Franco Zeffirelli, and in 2014 it was there again to perform Bellini’s I Capuleti e I Montecchi.

The following are the members of our Chorus:

Chorusmaster Roberto Gabbiani

 

First Tenors  
Angel Julio Harkatz Kaufman Alex Magri
Marco Spanu Enrico Sammarchi
Salvatore Schiano Di Cola Giovanni Gregnanin
Hubert Zingerle Damiano Colombo
Eder Vincenzi  

 

Seconds Tenors  
Antonino Scarbaci Gianni Scardoni
Andrea Bonaldo Andrea Vincenti

 

Baritones  
Alessandro Andreoli Nicolò Rigano
Simone Marchesini Lucio Mauti
Jacopo Bianchini Giacomo Archetti
Carlo Bombieri Giuseppe Martinelli

 

Basses  
Maurizio Pantò Giancarlo Frison
Gabriele Lombardi Francesco Azzolini
Alessandro Reschitz Raffaele Zaninelli
Ezio Passerini  

 

Sopranos
 
Elena Benedetti Adina Vilichi
Sonia Bianchetti Mariella Geloso
Carola Freddi Loredana Mele
Grazia Montanari Manuela Schenale
Emanuela Simonetto Francesca Borrelli
Barbara Bettari Sandra Pozzati
Valeria Saladino Tatiana Maria Meira De Aguiar 

 

Mezzo-sopranos
 
Antonella D'amico Elena Rita Maria Grassia
Mirca Molinari Silvia Ruffo
Alessandra Andreetti  

 

Contraltos
 
Sabrina Canola Chiara Campara
Barbara Massari Tiziana Realdini
Tamara Zandonà Sonia Zaramella

 

Founding members

Repubblica Italiana
Ministero Cultura
Regione Veneto
Comune di Verona
Camera di Commercio di Verona
Cattolica Assicurazioni

Partner

Major partner

Major partner Unicredit

Official sponsor

Official sponsor Calzedonia Official sponsor Giovanni Rana Official sponsor Forno Bonomi Official sponsor Metinvest Official supplier Genny

Automotive partner

Automotive partner Volkswagen

Mobility partner

Mobility partner Bahn

Accessibility partner

Mobility partner Muller

Media partner

Media partner RTL