"ARENA PER TUTTI" il nuovo progetto di accessibilità del 100° Arena di Verona Opera Festival 2023

To celebrate the 100th Edition of Verona Arena Opera Festival, Fondazione Arena and Müller officially present a brand new accessibility project, which will bring the joy of opera to everyone. 10 spectacular opera evenings with accessible trailers, digital programmes, multisensory experiences, and 1,500 additional tickets for individuals with disabilities

Arena per tutti

As part of the Festival’s 100th edition, Fondazione Arena di Verona is unveiling a landmark accessibility project: over 1,500 additional Festival seats will be allocated to individuals with physical disabilities and a whole host of new multisensory experiences will be on offer. These initiatives will benefit around 1,000 people with sensory disabilities and their companions at 10 dedicated evenings, ensuring that everyone can experience performances with the tailored support and accommodations they require.

Müller, which is deeply committed to this cause, has joined as a supporter of the 2023 Festival and is acting as the Accessibility Partner for the initiative. It intends to establish new standards of enjoyment, enabling the pleasure of opera to reach all spectators. Müller is participating in this major musical and cultural event as part of Müller For People, a long-term social sustainability initiative that the Verona-based company has mapped out for the coming years. 

Since its very inception, opera has been a multimedia spectacle and a profoundly inclusive collective ritual”, declares Cecilia Gasdia, General Manager of Fondazione Arena. “With these new initiatives introduced as part of the Festival’s 100th edition, our goal is to enhance the pre-existing space at the Arena reserved for physical and cognitive disabilities by offering immersive multisensory experiences. We have collaborated with Müller to curate special experiences and have employed innovative means to ensure that performances and masterpieces by renowned maestros can touch the hearts of all individuals”.

Verona has been the home of Müller Italia since 1995. It is a remarkable city steeped in art and culture to which we feel deeply connected”, states Sergio Attisani, Director of Müller Italia. "We are therefore incredibly honoured and grateful to the leadership team at Fondazione Arena di Verona for providing us with the opportunity to contribute to an innovative project focused on sustainability and social inclusion. Our goal is to ensure that the power of art reaches everyone, leaving no one behind”.

Arena per tutti

The four operas chosen to kick off the project – coordinated by Professor Elena Di Giovanni with the support of Professor Francesca Raffi from the University of Macerata – are: Aida (the “queen bee” of the Arena); La Traviata (the world’s most performed opera); Nabucco (Verdi's first masterpiece), and Rigoletto (a quintessential and poetic Verdi opera). The playbill includes two new productions as part of the 100th edition of the 2023 Festival, alongside two operas that have become beloved classics among audience members in the amphitheatre’s recent history. 

The ten opera evenings forming part of the initiative, which kicks off on Thursday, 20 July, will be preceded by an entirely free multisensory experience. A reservation is required and can be made via email at inclusione@arenadiverona.it or through the website www.arenapertutti.it

During these experiences, individuals with disabilities will be accompanied onto the stage, where they will get to admire the stage sets, costumes, and props. They will be guided by the stage crew and the skilled individuals who have meticulously crafted the set in Fondazione Arena’s workshops. 

Each performance will be accompanied by an accessible trailer (available in both Italian and English, with subtitles, voice-over, Italian and international sign language translations, and audio descriptions). In addition, both audio description and subtitles for the hard of hearing will be provided during the performances. These innovative accessibility services make use of cutting-edge technologies.

The Arena also intends to launch a ground-breaking new feature for all attendees: digital programmes. These inclusive tools faithfully replicate the graphics and structure of traditional printed programmes (containing a synopsis, director’s notes, photos and information on performances). The programmes contain simplified text with adjustable and resizable fonts, along with images and scene sketches accompanied by audio descriptions (for individuals with visual impairments). Texts are also provided in Italian sign language. In addition, English versions of the programmes will be available, featuring international sign language translations. 

Finally, info sheets will be made available for the four operas in Easy To Read language (promoted by “Inclusion Europe”, the European Association for people with cognitive disabilities), in both Italian and English.

The project, which comprises research and practical activities, was launched in 2008 at the Sferisterio in Macerata and has been piloted in numerous theatres over the years. However, for the first time ever, individual initiatives are being combined and presented in the largest open-air theatre in the world. All opera evenings offering these services will be assigned an “accessible performance” label, which is an official recognition that will be registered and subsequently proposed as a replicable standard.

Arena Per Tutti has been a 15-year journey”, says Elena Di Giovanni, “during which I have witnessed performance accessibility blossom in Italy and around the world. This project was intended to be wide-reaching, international, and open to all from its very inception. We look forward to welcoming diverse individuals to the world's largest opera theatre. And we are ready to further develop the Arena Per Tutti initiative in the years to come in collaboration with our visitors”.

The project will benefit from the collaboration of the City of Verona’s Disability Council and sensory disability associations from Verona and the Veneto region. The initiative forms part of a larger regional project titled “Social and Inclusive Tourism in Veneto”, alongside other initiatives undertaken by the Fondazione Arena di Verona.

For further information and details on how to participate, please contact inclusione@arenadiverona.it, or visit the website www.arenapertutti.it

The “Arena for All” project performances include:

20 July - Rigoletto 
21 July - Aida
27 July – La Traviata
28 July – Nabucco
2 August – Aida
3 August – Nabucco
4 August – Rigoletto
17 August – Nabucco
18 August – Aida
19 August – La Traviata


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