Director Stefano Poda is also in designing the sets and costumes for AIDA
Arena di Verona
In a glittering succession of casts that will make each of the evenings of the 2023 Festival a true first night, as in the best tradition of the greatest opera stage in the world. In less than three months, the most important stars of bel canto will be coming to Verona, accompanied by the brightest young promises and the pillars of 20th-century bel canto, making the city a true capital of Opera, as has been its vocation for over a century. In addition to the already spectacular list of great voices, this year, the 100th Arena di Verona Opera Festival will certainly also have great surprises in store, as well as unexpected guest stars for the audience.
In addition to Jonas Kaufmann, Juan Diego Flórez, Plácido Domingo, Roberto Bolle, the Orchestra and Chorus of La Scala conducted by Riccardo Chailly in five dedicated evening events, Anna Netrebko and Yusif Eyvazov, and many more will be coming to the city's huge stage for the opening with the new Aida world premiere on 16 June. Stars such as Piotr Beczała, Asmik Grigorian and Christian Van Horn will be making their debuts, together with important confirmations from among the most acclaimed artists on the international scene, and the best young people to focus on.
Until 9th September, a veritable anthology of the best-loved titles and productions of the Arena audience will be staged in a unique parade of theatre history:
Verdi's Aida, a new production by Stefano Poda from 16th June
Carmen by Bizet, as staged by Franco Zeffirelli from 23rd June
Rossini's Il Barbiere di Siviglia according to Hugo de Ana from 24th June
Verdi's Rigoletto in a new production from 1st July
Verdi's La Traviata in Franco Zeffirelli 's production from 8th July
Verdi's Nabucco, directed by Gianfranco de Bosio from 15th July
Puccini 's Tosca in Hugo de Ana 's production from 29th July
Puccini's Madama Butterfly according to Franco Zeffirelli from 12th August
A cinematic stage par excellence and therefore, with the highest presence on Instagram, for over a century the Arena di Verona has been the place of experimentation for opera’s best directors, who are inevitably challenged by its very nature - already a magniloquent setting in itself - as well as by its history as a millennial place of entertainment, from the Roman naumachia to medieval jousts and on to Rossini in the early 19th century. Since 1913, it has almost uninterruptedly been the greatest and largest open-air opera stage in modern times. Each staging, therefore, has been and still is a massive construction job, testing thousands of specialised artisans from all over Italy, a true epitome of expertise Made in Italy, from decoration to tailoring, but also a true test-bed for the most innovative technologies, as well as for the creative sensitivity of the entire production team, starting with the direction.
And if expectations are high for the new direction of Aida - the title with which the Arena inaugurated its new life in 1913 - since the production entrusted to Stefano Poda will be the first to stand alongside the cornerstones of the philological Aida of 1913 and that of Zeffirelli, the remaining six historical productions, from Barbiere (2007) and Tosca (2006) according to Hugo de Ana, to the colossal Babilonia in Nabucco directed by de Bosio (1991-2015), the eminence of Zeffirelli's last Traviata (2019), the rediscovered Carmen (1995-2022) and Madama Butterfly (2004) with Oscar costumes by Emi Wada will all show young audiences or simply all lovers of the art of the stage a true overview of the tastes, fashions, sensibilities, and theatrical style of the 20th century, almost a living, open-air museum showcasing the aesthetics of a century. Added to these is a second new production, an exceptional event in the Festival's recent history: for Rigoletto, absent from the summer programme for six years, the entire creative team will be revealed shortly.
A visual experience, but also an informative and cognitive journey that no theatre in the world offers in such a short space of time - less than three months - and, above all, embodied by a parade of vocal excellence that is unique on the world stage, because Verona will be a Global Opera Village and the city with the highest density of singing stars per square metre for 100 days, including rehearsals, productions, and cast intersections. To name but a few of the 100 stars that will perform in the thousand-year-old amphitheatre, it is worth mentioning Alagna, Alaimo, Armiliato, Battistoni, Berzhanskaya, Burdenko, Conesa, Corbelli, De Tommaso, Enkhbat, Gazale, Grigolo, Korchak, Kurzak, Kunde, Lepore, Lim, Luciano, Margaine, Meli, Micheletti, Minasyan, Oren, Oropesa, Pertusi, Petrova, Piazzola, Pirozzi, Pretti, Ruciński, Salsi, Schrott, Semenchuk, Sicilia, Sierra, Siragusa, Siri, Siwek, Tézier, Vinogradov, Viotti, Yoncheva, Zilio , but there are many other artists expected on opera's most popular stage, including conductor Alessandro Bonato, a young man who has won prizes in international competitions, appreciated in Italy and abroad, who is making his debut in the amphitheatre of his home town. In addition, two performances of La Traviata, namely the first and the last, will be enriched by the participation in art and life of La Scala's dance couple of excellence, the principle dancers, Nicoletta Manni and Timofej Andrijashenko, who made their surprise wedding vows on the Veronese stage in 2022 during Roberto Bolle's gala.
Superintendent and Artistic Director, Cecilia Gasdia, the only cultural manager to have been an extra, chorus artist, soloist and finally the first woman at the head of the immense theatre she now leads in a double role, comments on this extremely challenging season: "It has been a difficult five years, considering the two pandemic years in the heart of my mandate, but sometimes it is precisely the most demanding challenges that teach us to overcome those limits that we tend to consider insurmountable, and so, after reinventing the Arena and avoiding closure, designing this very important programme has given us great enthusiasm. Our offices are hard at work and all our artistic and technical staff are preparing for a summer of art, music and beauty without interruption for us - and you. A creative whirl that I truly consider to be the culmination of these five years of work. After all, music, first as a pianist, and then as an opera singer, has been my whole life, and knowing that never in the history of musical theatre has a city truly become a global village of bel canto thanks to the greatest possible concentration of golden voices ever seen and heard, fills me with joy and emotion. That’s because the city I am talking about is my Verona, the city where I was born and lived and where I was formed both humanistically and musically”.
"The unique and extraordinary programme of 8 titles and 5 galas conceived for the 100th Festival," concludes Stefano Trespidi, Deputy Artistic Director, "makes the 2023 season programme more diversified than ever before, with a greater succession of titles and repeats of the same opera more spaced out in time. This has further accentuated a characteristic of the Arena di Verona in recent years: bringing in different artists to play the same title, including the world’s best, often only for one evening. Each performance is a unique jewel, each evening a first night, of unrepeatable artistic and emotional value. The cast we are presenting today is the first result of more than a year of intensive work, negotiations and relationships with artists, represented by agents. The feeling is like that of climbing a mountain. But other heights are still to be climbed: work is going on in the workshops and offices, and rehearsals with all the artistic components will begin in a few weeks' time.
The 100th Festival at the Arena di Verona is a special occasion beyond the confines of its own city: it will take place under the patronage of the Veneto Region.
The Fondazione Arena di Verona would like to express its sincere thanks to all Festival partners and sponsors. First of all, we would like to thank major partners UniCredit, Calzedonia, Pastificio Giovanni Rana, Volkswagen Group Italia, DB BAHN, RTL 102.5, then Official sponsors Veronafiere, Air Dolomiti, A4 Holding, Casa Sartori, SABA Italia, SDG Group and Vicenzi , and our Cultural Partner Palazzo Maffei. Obvious thanks are also due to the companies, private individuals, and professional associations that make up the ranks of the Membership 67 Columns for the Arena di Verona, now in its third year.
Press Office Fondazione Arena di Verona
Via Roma 7/D, 37121 Verona
Tel. (+39) 045 805.1861-1905-1891-1939
Press and Media Advisor Alessia Capelletti with Marina Nocilla
Tel. +39 347 5801910 / Tel. +39 338 7172263
Via Dietro Anfiteatro 6/B, 37121 Verona
Call centre (+39) 045 800.51.51
Presale points TicketOne
from 16th June to 9th September
by Giuseppe Verdi | Directed by Stefano Poda | NEW PRODUCTION
16, 17, 25, 29 June AT 21.15 | 9, 16, 21, 30 July AT 9:00 p.m.
2, 18, 23 August AT8:45 p.m. | 3 , 8 September AT8.45 p.m.
by Georges Bizet | Direction Franco Zeffirelli
23 June AT 9:15 p.m.| 6 July AT 9:00 p.m.
11, 24 AugustAT8:45 p.m.| 6 SeptemberAT8:45 p.m.
Il Barbiere di Siviglia
by Gioachino Rossini | Directed by Hugo de Ana
24, 30 June AT 9:15 p.m.| 13, 22 July AT 9:00 p.m.
by Giuseppe Verdi | NEW PRODUCTION
1, 7, 20 July AT 9:00 p.m.| 4 August AT 8:45 p.m.
by Giuseppe Verdi | Direction Franco Zeffirelli
8, 14, 27 July AT 9:00 p.m.| 19, 26 August AT 8:45 p.m.| 9 September AT 8:45 p.m.
by Giuseppe Verdi | Directed by Gianfranco de Bosio
15, 28 July AT 9:00 p.m.| 3, 17 August AT 8:45 p.m.
Roberto Bolle and Friends
19 July AT 9:15 p.m.
Juan Diego Flórez in Opera-Arena 100
23 July AT 9:00 p.m.
by Giacomo Puccini | Directed by Hugo de Ana
29 July AT 9:00 p.m.| 5, 10 August AT 8:45 p.m.| 1 September AT 8:45 p.m.
Plácido Domingo in Opera-Arena 100
6 August AT 9:00 p.m.
by Giacomo Puccini | Direction Franco Zeffirelli
12, 25 August AT8:45 p.m. | 2 , 7 September AT8.45 p.m.
Jonas Kaufmann in Opera-Arena 100
20 August AT 9:00 p.m.
Teatro alla Scala at Arena di Verona
31 August AT 21:00