Gianfranco De Bosio's classic Opera Nabucco makes its debut at the 100th edition of the festival

Starting from this Saturday, Verdi’s first masterpiece, Nabucco, will be performed four times at the Arena, known for its epic chorus and opulence Nabucco will be the sixth premiere at the 100th edition of the Festival, which boasts a rich playbill of the Arena’s best-loved productions: Gianfranco de Bosio's thorough direction meets Rinaldo Olivieri's traditional architecture, amid scenic temples and a colossal Tower of Babel At the premiere, the Fondazione Arena’s artistic ensembles will be led by Daniel Oren, followed by Alvise Casellati, uniting a stellar cast of today's top performers, including Enkhbat, Salsi, Siri, and Pirozzi


Saturday, 15 July - 9pm


Nabucco, originally the third most performed opera at the amphitheatre, marked Giuseppe Verdi's first true success in his artistic career. The opera's remarkable strength, contributing to its success at the Arena and positioning it as a contender for the legendary title of the “soundtrack of the Risorgimento”, lies in the unparalleled depth of its chorus. In this adaptation by librettist Solera, the chorus emerges as the true protagonist, drawing inspiration from biblical episodes. In addition, the vocals written for the main characters are very demanding, requiring memorable performances that range from cantabile to agility. As part of the most extensive programme in the Festival's history, the Fondazione Arena presents a classic set designed by Gianfranco de Bosio in 1991, which has enjoyed great success and numerous revivals. The late Maestro de Bosio's approach to musical theatre, whose centenary will be commemorated next year, is rooted in tradition and supported by meticulous research, utilising historical sources whenever possible. His renowned interpretation of Aida serves as a prime example (where he faithfully applied Verdi's stage directions to reconstructed scenes from 1913). Nabucco follows a similar path, where soloists and ensembles are meticulously guided through Rinaldo Olivieri's breathtaking scenes, ranging from the Temple of Jerusalem to the famous Tower of Babel. The vast space and tiers of the Arena stage provide the perfect backdrop for this choreography. 

Following the 2015 revival curated by the director, the production makes its anticipated return to the Arena, providing an ideal platform for the highly acclaimed international cast during four performances. Amartuvshin Enkhbat takes on the eponymous role for the first two shows, followed by Roman Burdenko (3 August) and Luca Salsi (17 August). Maria José Siri provides vocals and backing to the mighty role of Abigaille, who will also be played by Anna Pirozzi for one night only (28 July). The character of Zaccaria demands a top-tier bass, and this role will be performed by Alexander Vinogradov (15 and 28) and Rafał Siwek (3 and 17 August). The roles of Ismaele and Fenena are also highly demanding. Matteo Mezzaro takes on the role of Ismaele, making his debut in this production, while Josè Maria Lo Monaco, in her Arena debut, portrays Fenena. They are followed by Vasilisa Berzhanskaya. In the supporting roles, we have esteemed performers including Riccardo Rados (Abdallo for the first two performances, followed by a transition to Ismaele), Carlo Bosi, Gianfranco Montresor as the High Priest of Belo, and sopranos Elisabetta Zizzo and Elena Borin alternating in the role of Anna. There will also be a change in conductor of the Fondazione Arena Orchestra and the Chorus, prepared by Roberto Gabbiani. Following the premiere under the baton of the esteemed Daniel Oren, a recognised authority on the opera, the subsequent three performances will be conducted by Alvise Casellati, who has previously garnered acclaim on the podium, including the last Nabucco according to Bernard. After the premiere on Saturday 15 July, additional performances will be held on 28 July, and 3 and 17 August

“This performance holds significant importance in the opera's performance history at the Arena," states Cecilia Gasdia, General Manager of the Fondazione. “It is also a heartfelt tribute to Gianfranco de Bosio, a pivotal maestro for Italian theatre as a whole and specifically for the Arena, serving as an enlightened general manager on two occasions. While audience sensibilities have undoubtedly evolved over the past thirty years, the narrative immediacy of this Nabucco continues to captivate people even today. Tickets for the premiere are already sold out, and demand for each subsequent performance remains high”.

“The inclusion of Nabucco is essential in this exquisite anthology, i.e., the Festival’s playbill”, emphasises Stefano Trespidi, Deputy Artistic Director. “It showcases the finest contemporary artists and offers a diverse lineup of four magnificent performances from Thursday to Sunday. Audiences can experience the refined Belcantists in Barbiere, the captivating La Traviata featuring Lisette Oropesa and Vittorio Grigolo, this compelling production of Nabucco, and the grandeur of Aida with Anna Netrebko. Enthusiasts and the curious alike should not miss the opportunity to witness these extraordinary performances at the Arena”.

Among the many initiatives involving the city, the Fondazione Arena is hosting two photographic exhibitions for the duration of the Festival: the exhibition “100 volte Callas” at the Palazzo della Gran Guardia, curated by the Archivio Tommasoli under the patronage of the Municipality of Verona, provides a captivating glimpse into the early years of the legendary Divina in Verona, coinciding with the centenary celebration. Additionally, at the Feltrinelli bookshop on Via Quattro Spade, visitors can explore the exhibition “Aida 100, which showcases Ennevi's unpublished photographs, offering a fascinating window into the intricate details of the new production created by Stefano Poda specifically for the 100th Festival. 



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100th Verona Arena Opera Festival 2023

from 16 June to 9 September



by Giuseppe Verdi | Directed by Stefano Poda | NEW PRODUCTION

16, 17, 25, 29 June AT  9:15pm| 9, 16, 21, 30 July AT 9pm

2, 18, 23 August AT8:45pm | 3 , 8 September AT8.45pm


by Georges Bizet | Directed by Franco Zeffirelli

23 June AT  9:15pm | 6 July AT 9pm

11, 24 AugustAT8:45pm| 6 SeptemberAT8:45pm

Il Barbiere di Siviglia

by Gioachino Rossini | Directed by Hugo de Ana

24, 30 June AT  9:15pm| 13, 22 July AT 9pm


by Giuseppe Verdi | Directed by Antonio Albanese | NEW PRODUCTION

1, 7, 20 July AT 9pm| 4 August AT 8:45pm

La Traviata

by Giuseppe Verdi | Direction Franco Zeffirelli

8, 14, 27 July AT 9pm| 19, 26 August AT  8:45pm| 9 September AT 8:45pm


by Giuseppe Verdi | Directed by Gianfranco de Bosio

15, 28 July AT 9pm| 3, 17 August AT 8:45pm

Roberto Bolle and Friends

19 July AT 9:15pm

Juan Diego Flórez in Opera-Arena 100

23 July AT 9pm


by Giacomo Puccini | Directed by Hugo de Ana

29 July AT 9pm| 5, 10 August AT  8:45pm| 1 September AT 8:45pm

Plácido Domingo in Opera-Arena 100

6 August AT 9pm

Madama Butterfly

by Giacomo Puccini | Direction Franco Zeffirelli

12, 25 August AT8:45pm | 2 , 7 September AT8:45pm

Jonas Kaufmann in Opera-Arena 100

20 August AT 9pm


Teatro alla Scala at Verona Arena

31 August AT 8PM

Soci Fondatori e Partner

Founding Members

Major Partner Arena di Verona Opera Festival