The casts of the 99th Arena di Verona Opera festival

The 99th Arena di Verona Opera Festival is presenting 46 unique nights in the world’s largest theatre under the banner of opera with its imposing shows and the best international voices.

On 17th June, edition number 99 of the world’s most popular Opera Festival gets under way, in an Arena finally featuring its unique productions, which every night attract over 13,000 spectators, increasingly full of the international scenario’s greatest artists on stage with the Orchestra, Chorus, Dance Company and Technicians, with a high social profile, with almost 300 million contacts in 2021 alone and even more solid, thanks to the support of its benefactors with 67 Columns for the Arena di Verona, a project that with its first edition won the Italian Ministry of Culture’s prize for the best Art Bonus initiative among hundreds of projects throughout the country.

The nights under the stars will be animated by an even more inclusive cosmopolitan Festival, the ideal preparation of the road leading to the goal of edition number 100, in the summer of 2023. 


Marco Armiliato is the Musical Director of the 2022 Festival

For the 99th edition of the Festival, one of Arena di Verona spectators’ most popular conductors will be on the podium of the Arena’s immense orchestra pit for 24 evenings. Born in Genoa, with an international vocation and career, he is a standard-bearer of Italian melodrama worldwide, from Vienna to Tokyo, from La Scala to the New York Metropolitan. 


The program

The 99th Arena di Verona Opera Festival opens on the weekend of the 17th and 18th June with the two most performed operas in the history of the Festival, Bizet’s Carmen and Verdi’s Aida, both with a Franco Zeffirelli production.



Carmen all'Arena di Verona


Carmen, the opening opera, was the Maestro’s debut inside the amphitheatre’s age-old walls in 1995 and will be presented to spectators as it has never been seen before, in an original synthesis.

As is known, on the occasion of the various reproductions of his show staged through the years, the Florentine Maestro made various substantial changes, culminating in the new 2009 version. Now, thanks to new stagecraft skills acquired and based on the Maestro’s observations passed on by his long-standing collaborators, it is possible to obtain a definitive synthesis of Franco Zeffirelli’s thoughts on his personal concept of Carmen at the Arena.

Following the first drafts without censorship or limitations, integrated with the best new features which Zeffirelli himself introduced in the following editions and adding the best of the Maestro’s various intuitions will result in a unique definitive visual experience, under the musical direction of Marco Armiliato and embellished by an exceptional cast in which, among  the many debuts, is it is worth mentioning those as protagonists of Clémentine Margaine, J'Nai Bridges, Elina Garanča and Yulia Matochkina, joined by Don Josè by Brian Jagde, Roberto Alagna and Vittorio Grigolo






Aida all'Arena di Verona


The production of Aida, created specifically for the Arena precisely twenty years ago, returns to the Verona stage after many editions as a classic of Zeffirelli’s aesthetic to all effects, with his unmistakable golden light and the multicoloured precious fabrics that colour the Egypt imagined by Verdi with new gleams combining solemnity and exotism.

For the Arena’s top-ranking opera, being staged for eleven nights, Daniel Oren and Marco Armiliato will alternate on the podium. On the immense stage there will be an endless series of singers of absolutely top-grade international importance, including Liudmyla Monastyrska, Anna Netrebko, Latonia Moore, Ekaterina Semenchuk, Murat Karahan, Fabio Sartori, Yusif Eyvazov, Amartuvshin Enkhbat, Ferruccio Furlanetto, confirming the Fondazione’s desire to make every night an absolute first.






Nabucco all'Arena di Verona


From 25th June, Verdi’s Nabucco will be staged for eight nights in the recent edition featuring a wide historic, Risorgimento and cinematographic fresco by Arnaud Bernard, conducted by Daniel Oren and Alvise Casellati





La Traviata

La Traviata all'Arena di Verona


Then on 2nd JulyLa Traviatathe last creation by Franco Zeffirelli, returns, with costumes by Maurizio Millenotti, after the inauguration of the 2019 Festival with the participation of Italy’s President Sergio Mattarella broadcast live worldwide, thanks to the collaboration of Arena di Verona srl and Rai1, just a few days after the Maestro’s death, becoming a sort of artistic legacy. The Verdi masterpiece will be conducted for its eight performances by Marco Armiliato






Turandot all'Arena di Verona


The fifth and last opera on the 2022 program is Puccini’s Turandot with the fable-like production by Zeffirelli and costumes by Academy Award winner Emi Wada: it will be on stage from 4th August for seven nights conducted by Marco Armiliato, Francesco Ivan Ciampa and, for a single event, by Plácido Domingo

The casts of singers include, among others, the voices and performing talent of Anna Netrebko, Lisette Oropesa and Angel Blue, as well as Luca Salsi, Ludovic Tézier, Francesco Meli, Freddie de Tommaso, Michele Pertusi, in a well-balanced combination of solid certainties, names that are really outstanding at international level, but rarely seen on Italian stages and young talents sure to interest opera lovers all over Europe. 




Roberto Bolle and Friends

Roberto Bolle and Friends all'Arena di Verona

The program of the 99th Festival will be completed by three Galas: the first is Roberto Bolle and Friends which, on 20th July, will bring to the Arena di Verona an eagerly awaited program combining ballet and modern and contemporary dance by the étoile “of two worlds” along with today’s most popular stars. 





Carmina Burana

Carmina Burana all'Arena di Verona

On 12th August Orff’s Carmina Burana is returning with a memorable scenographic concert with the participation of the Arena’s complete Orchestra and Chorus, two children’s choruses and soloists Lisette OropesaFilippo Mineccia and Mario Cassi.





Domingo in Verdi Opera Night

Domingo in Verdi Opera Night all'Arena di Verona

On 25th August, there is Plácido Domingo in Verdi Opera Night with three acts from Verdi operas in complete scenic form, along with Maria José SiriFabio SartoriClémentine Margaine and, for the first time at the Arena, basso Ildar Abdrazakov: as well as the rare Macbeth and Don Carlo, on this occasion Domingo will debut in the role of Amonasro in the Triumph scene from Aida. Director and set designer for the special event are Stefano Trespidi and Ezio Antonelli respectively, while the Arena’s orchestra and chorus will be conducted by Jordi Bernàcer








Out of almost 100 world-class artists, including emerging young talents and successful stars, no less than 35 (over a third of the total) will make their eagerly awaited debut on the Arena’s stage: as well as divas J’Nai Bridges and Elīna Garanča, also worthy of note are Ludovic Tézier, Ildar Abdrazakov, Freddie De Tommaso, Liudmyla Monastyrska, Latonia Moore, Angel Blue, Yulia Matochkina, Gilda Fiume, Luca Micheletti, Caterina Sala, Daniela Cappiello, Jan Antem, Vincent Ordonneau, Monica Conesa, Gűnther Groissbőck, Roman Burdenko, Francesca Maionchi, Ewa Plonka, Francesca Di Sauro, Vasilisa Berzhanskaya, Adolfo Corrado, Gezym Myshketa, Giacomo Leone, Sava Venić, Lilly Jørstad, Valeria Girardello, Igor Golovatenko, Francesco Leone, Yonghoon Lee, Filippo Mineccia, Youngjun Park, Gabriele Sagona and, last but not least, author Marco Malvaldi (a singer in the past) with a special cameo. 

As well as the aforementioned names, the casts of the 46 nights feature numerous great artists and successful young talents returning to the Arena di Verona, including: Aleksandra Kurzak, Anna Maria Chiuri, Olesya Petrova, Claudio Sgura, Karen Gardeazabal, Maria Teresa Leva, Lavinia Bini, Nicolò Ceriani, Carlo Bosi, Biagio Pizzuti, Alessio Verna, Simon Lim, Samuele Simoncini, Jorge de León, Rafał Siwek, Riccardo Zanellato, Sebastian Catana, Francesco Pittari, Riccardo Rados, Artur Rucinski, Abramo Rosalen, Simone Piazzola, Matteo Mezzaro, Ruth Iniesta, Riccardo Fassi, Gregory Kunde, Chris Merritt… 

Fondazione Arena di Verona wishes to express its special thanks to all the sponsors, who have confirmed their valuable contribution in support of Fondazione Arena and its prestigious Festival: Firstly, Unicredit, who has been alongside our theatre for over 25 years, and reconfirms its role as major partner of the Opera Festival and partner in all the promotion activities, and who, along with Ticket One, won the tender for the management of Fondazione Arena ticket sales for the period 2022-2024. Among the main sponsors, thanks go to Calzedonia, Pastificio Giovanni Rana, Volkswagen Group Italia, DB BAHN and RTL 102.5. A special mention also goes to all the companies, entrepreneurs, professional and trade associations who participated in the 67 columns for the Arena di Verona 2021 fundraising campaign and many of whom are also renewing their participation for 2022. Only a week ago, the project won the sixth Edition of the Art Bonus Contest held by the Ministry of Culture and was nominated as the best Art Bonus fundraising project of 2021.







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Founding Members

Major Partner Arena di Verona Opera Festival