The 100th edition of Opera Festival 2023 continues with Carmen and il Barbiere di Siviglia

Following a spectacular debut that included two sold-out performances of Aida, the second weekend of Verona Opera Festival's momentous 100th Edition introduces two new premieres: the classic Carmen, helmed by the esteemed conductor Franco Zeffirelli, and Il Barbiere di Siviglia, brought to life by the talented Hugo De Ana The first showing of Bizet's masterpiece showcases a stellar lineup of international artists including Margaine, De Tommaso, Schrott, and Sicilia, under the baton of Maestro Daniel Oren On Saturday, we will meet Jenis's Figaro and great Belcanto performers such as Berzhanskaya, Siragusa, Pertusi, and Lepore. Young conductor Alessandro Bonato is set to make his debut in his hometown


Friday, 23 June at 9.15pm

Il Barbiere di Siviglia

Saturday 24 June at 9.15pm


Alongside the two new productions of Aida, which were broadcasted worldwide by RAI and attracted an average of 1.8 million viewers, and the upcoming performance of Rigoletto (on 1 July), the 100th Edition of the Festival at Verona Arena boasts a rich programme that includes six of the most popular productions from the past 30 years, serving an ideal anthology of opera mis-en-scene at the renowned venue. One production that should not be missed is Carmen, which marked Franco Zeffirelli's debut at the Amphitheatre in 1995. Zeffirelli directed and produced Bizet's masterpiece, with costumes by Anna Anni and choreography by El Camborio. In honour of the celebrated maestro's 100th birthday, on Friday, 23 June, the Fondazione Arena will once again present an entirely new version of this iconic production, incorporating several scenic elements that Zeffirelli had initially envisioned. Daniel Oren, a fan favourite, will conduct the performance, featuring the French mezzo-soprano Clémentine Margaine (who was heavily praised at the opening of the 99th Festival), Freddie De Tommaso, Mariangela Sicilia, and Erwin Schrott in the titular role. These are just a few of the stars in a cast that also includes Anita Rachvelishvili, Vittorio Grigolo, Piotr Beczała, and Luca Micheletti across its six shows. The supporting roles feature many talented young artists, whom the Fondazione Arena has long supported, including Sofia Koberidze, Cristin Arsenova, Didier Pieri, Jan Antem, Giorgi Manoshvili, and Christian Federici. A realistic depiction of Seville comes to life on stage, meticulously designed in a style reminiscent of a film set. The performance is enriched by the presence of over 400 mimes, extras, ballet dancers (coordinated by Gaetano Petrosino), a chorus (directed by Roberto Gabbiani), the Arena Orchestra, the treble voices of A.LI.VE. (directed by Paolo Facincani), and dancers from the Compañia Antonio Gades

Less than 24 hours after the gypsy curtain sets the stage for Carmen, the premiere of Il Barbiere di Siviglia will take place on Saturday, 24 June in the Rococo fairytale garden designed by Hugo De Ana in 2006. This renowned production, known for its moving hedge maze and vibrant red roses of various shapes and sizes, brings Rossini's delightful humour and brilliant music back to the Amphitheatre as a repertory piece. The titular role will be shared between the acclaimed Dalibor Jenis and Nicola Alaimo, alongside Vasilisa Berzhanskaya, Antonino Siragusa, and Michele Pertusi. Carlo Lepore and Alessandro Corbelli will alternate as Bartolo, while Marina Viotti and Dmitry Korchak will portray Rosina and Conte d'Almaviva respectively. The cast is completed by experienced performers Nicolò Ceriani and, making their debut, Marianna Mappa and Lorenzo Cescotti. Also making his debut is Maestro Alessandro Bonato, a talented 27-year-old from Verona, who will be leading the Orchestra and Fondazione Arena Choir for the first time in the Amphitheatre. A total of four performances will be held until 22 July. 

“We couldn't forget about Franco Zeffirelli. We are celebrating his 100th birthday at the Festival with our most impressive programme to date”, states Cecilia Gasdia, General Manager of the Fondazione Arena di Verona. “We are putting on three of his most successful productions, starting with his debut at the Amphitheatre, a reconstruction of Carmen, which pays homage to its original grandeur and beauty. And the following day, it is Hugo De Ana's turn with the beloved Il Barbiere di Siviglia — a perfect, entertaining mechanism that always respects the dramatic essence of Rossini's work”.

“From the moment we started work on Aida, and during the months of intense preparations leading up to it, our efforts have been non-stop”, concludes Stefano Trespidi, Deputy Artistic Director. “The cast and conductors of Carmen and Il Barbiere di Siviglia – both of which are making their debut this weekend within a span of less than 24 hours – embody our tribute to the Arena’s more recent history and our commitment to nurturing young talent, who bear the honour and responsibility of grappling with opera in this unique theatre of ours”. I would venture as far as to say that these artists, in their respective roles, comprise the finest ensembles in the world”.

The exceptional nature of this special edition is also reflected in the support received from private sponsors. Long-standing partners are joined by several new brands. Among our historical sponsors, the Fondazione Arena di Verona would first and foremost like to thank UniCredit, which whom we have collaborated for more than 25 years, along with Calzedonia, Pastificio Rana, Volkswagen Group Italia, DB Bahn, and RTL 102.5. Joining the cohort of official sponsors this year are Forno Bonomi, Metinvest/Saving Lives, Genny – providing new uniforms for our front-of-house team – and Müller, which will fund accessibility projects for people with disabilities. Our official partners also include historical brands such as Veronafiere, Air Dolomiti, A4 Holding, Casa Sartori, SABA Italia, SDG Group, and Cultural Partner Palazzo Maffei, joined by Acqua Dolomia, Sanagol and Mantova Village. We also extend our gratitude to the businesses, individuals, and professional associations who make up the 67 Columns Membership for Verona Arena, founded by Gianluca Rana from Pastificio Rana, and Sandro Veronesi, patron of the Calzedonia Group, which is now in its third year.




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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