Tosca by Puccini according to De Ana: an elegant and cinematic thriller set

Puccini's masterpiece is the seventh production in the impressive programme for this year’s Arena Festival. Four captivating performances from 29 July to 1 September, featuring the finest talents of today in Hugo De Ana’s opera, conducted by Maestro Francesco Ivan Ciampa The opening performance showcases duo Roberto Alagna and Aleksandra Kurzak, making their Puccini debut at the Festival, joined by Luca Salsi as Scarpia. In subsequent shows, acclaimed stars such as Yoncheva, Grigolo, Pirozzi, De Tommaso, and Burdenko grace the grand stage

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Puccini's Tosca premièred in 1900, blending his established melodic and harmonic genius with a gripping immediacy, reminiscent of a cinematic thriller. This captivating story, crafted by Sardou, Illica, and Giacosa, coupled with Puccini's unmatched theatrical intuition, creates a masterpiece brimming with dramatic tension and unforgettable arias, including “E lucevan le stelle”, “Recondita harmonia”, and “Vissi d'arte”. It is no wonder Tosca, the sixth most performed title at the Amphitheatre, commands a place in this year’s Festival repertoire, featuring four evenings with some of today's most sought-after opera stars in a renowned and contemporary performance organised by the Fondazione Arena. 


The set design was curated entirely by Argentinian director and set, costume, and lighting designer Hugo De Ana for the Arena in 2006 and has been successfully revived several times in recent decades. Sumptuous period costumes harmoniously blend with classic settings and imposing scenes, resonating with the spirit of the story. The unique stage seamlessly adapts to the three settings of the libretto, portraying the thriller set in 19th-century papal Rome, amid Bonapartist revolutionaries, opulence, darkness, mystery, and the iron rule of the ruthless Baron Scarpia. The colossal statue of the archangel Michael, symbolising divine justice and more, adds a compelling visual element. 


The role of Tosca will be portrayed by Aleksandra Kurzak in the first performance. She has previously enthralled the Amphitheatre audience and now makes her Verona debut as the protagonist, sharing the stage with her esteemed artistic companion, tenor Roberto Alagna, who takes on the role of Mario Cavaradossi. While Scarpia doesn't enjoy solo moments, the character's menacing presence is ever-present, expertly portrayed by the aristocratic villain, Luca Salsi, who masterfully commands the stage in the first and final performance. 


The supporting cast includes exceptional artists and talented young performers in various roles: Giorgi Manoshvili as the fugitive Angelotti, Giulio Mastrototaro (Arena debut) as the Sagrestano, Carlo Bosi and Nicolò Ceriani as Scarpia, Spoletta, and Sciarrone, respectively, and Dario Giorgelè as the Jailer. The role of the Shepherd will be beautifully brought to life by two young, promising voices: Erika Zaha (29/7, 5 and 10/8) and Jacopo Lunardi (1/9) perform on alternating evenings. 


In subsequent performances, the three principal roles will be filled by a plethora of opera stars. On 5 and 10 August, Sonya Yoncheva stars as Floria Tosca, alongside Vittorio Grigolo as Mario and Roman Burdenko as Scarpia. For the final evening on September 1, Luca Salsi takes the stage once more, this time with Anna Pirozzi and Freddie De Tommaso.    


Maestro Francesco Ivan Ciampa, known for his brilliant performances at the Philharmonic Theatre and Amphitheatre, will conduct the Fondazione Arena Orchestra and Choir led by Roberto Gabbiani. The choir will perform two challenging pieces: the solemn and grand Te Deum that concludes act I and the off-stage polyphonic cantata in act II. After the première on Saturday, 29 July, there will be encore performances on 5 and 10 August, and 1 September. 


This Puccini masterpiece, presented in a classic yet captivating production, is an ideal show for opera enthusiasts and first-time attendees at the Arena”, says Cecilia Gasdia, General Manager of the Foundation. “It is also part of the tribute Fondazione Arena is preparing for Puccini's centenary next year, a celebration that has already commenced with two titles in this year’s Festival lineup and with unique acts from the Triptych presented in previous seasons at the Philharmonic. We will be announcing more exciting news soon”.

Stefano Trespidi, Deputy Artistic Director, adds, “The presence of artists such as Alagna, Kurzak, and Salsi at the première, in addition to being part of a beloved filmed production, reaffirms the Festival's commitment to delivering high-quality performances on every date, which has garnered attention from both Italian and international television”.


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