Arena di Verona

Anna Netrebko and Yusif Eyvazov are returning to the Arena di Verona

19 November 2021

Opera’s golden couple confirms its bond with the Arena di Verona returning together for the first three dates of Puccini’s Turandot on 4th, 7th and 10th August

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Opera star Anna Netrebko has announced her Italian debut as Abigaille, the cruel female protagonist of Nabucco, for two dates at the Arena di Verona. With Azeri tenor Yusif Eyvazov, her companion on stage and in life, she is renewing her unique bond with Verona’s Opera Festival by inaugurating the first three unrepeatable performances of Franco Zeffirelli’s marvellous production of Turandot with the extraordinary date of 4th August. 

For some time Yusif Eyvazov has been one of Arena spectators’ favourites, having already been the protagonist of important productions such as Cavalleria rusticana, Pagliacci and Aida. Alongside him in 2019, an unforgettable edition of Il Trovatore, immortalized on DVD and broadcast by several European television channels, featured the debut of Russian soprano Anna Netrebko, with whom he forms a couple sought after worldwide, loved by spectators and acclaimed by critics of all nationalities. Netrebko and Eyvazov remained close to the Arena and its spectators even in the moments of greatest uncertainty during the last year and a half, confirming their gala in the summer of 2020, alongside Ekaterina Semenchuk and Ambrogio Maestri (conducted by Marco Armiliato), and the performances of Turandot at the 2021 Festival with Ruth Iniesta and Jader Bignamini in the show realized by the Arena’s creative team and technicians with imposing LED walls and digital scenery (created by D-wok) based on material conserved at Parma’s Museum of Chinese Art and Ethnography. 

The 99th Arena di Verona Opera Festival will therefore see them returning in two different productions. The first appointment is for the performances of Nabucco on Thursday 7th and Sunday 10th July: this will be the eagerly awaited Italian debut by Anna Netrebko in what is considered the most demanding soprano role of all Verdi’s compositions, Abigaille, a titanic part created by the composer’s companion, Giuseppina Strepponi, which combines unprecedented cruel virtuoso parts with Belcanto elegance in the original figure of the character who is the opera’s villainess.

Netrebko is awaited in the absolute debut in the role at London’s Royal Opera House this coming January and during 2022 will alternate it with Verdi’s other great dark lady, Lady Macbeth, as whom, after the first night al La Scala, she will return to the stages of Zurich and Munich. The imposing production, ideal for Verdi’s epic choral drama, is that created by director Arnaud Bernard with set design by Alessandro Camera, inspired by the Italian Risorgimento during which the opera was composed and the cinema masterpiece Senso by Luchino Visconti (other performances will be on July 1st, 23rd, 29th, 18th August and 3rd September). 

An exceptional new date has been added to the program of the 2022 Festival already announced: On Thursday 4th August, the first performance will be staged of Turandot, the last creation by Giacomo Puccini, unfinished due to the death of the Tuscan genius, completed by Alfano and conducted at its first performance by Toscanini. At the Arena di Verona it is one of the most popular and most performed operas of all time, thanks to its timeless music and the impact of its spectacular fairy-tale crowd scenes, as described in the libretto, which sets it in “China in the days of fables”.

The perfect show is by Franco Zeffirelli with the sumptuous costumes of Academy Award winner Wada and for three evenings (after the 4th, also Sunday 7th and Wednesday 10th August) will feature Yusif Eyvazov in the role of the Unknown Prince who challenges Turandot, the ice princess, performed by Anna Netrebko (further performances will be on 13th, 19th, 26th August and 2nd September): critics have already greeted the first performances by the couple in Turandot as the best combination possible of the respective roles in any theatre today and in recent years, whereas the audience interrupted the performances on several occasions with show-stopping applause, ovations and calls for encores. With this extraordinary participation, Netrebko and Eyvazov, now known as opera’s golden couple, confirm their artistic and personal bond with the Arena di Verona, its staff, its audience and its city. 

Tickets for the shows of the 99th Arena di Verona Opera Festival are already on sale, with prices from € 28 to € 300, exceptionally at special prices for some sectors until 24th December; a new feature for 2022 is the introduction of the new 1st sector stalls silver seats. On 17th June, Bizet’s Carmen inaugurates the Festival, which will run until 4th September with Aida, La Traviata and the three special evenings Roberto Bolle and Friends, Carmina Burana and Domingo in Verdi Opera Night. 

The Arena di Verona also awaits its public on the web site and its Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube social channels.

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