Verona Arena's centennial opera festival commences with spectacular "Crystal" Aida

Stefano Poda's unique production of Verdi's masterpiece takes the stage Starring Anna Netrebko and Yusif Eyvazov Friday, 16 June at 9pm

The opening night of the 100th edition of Verona Arena Opera Festival brings a visionary adaptation of Giuseppe Verdi's Aida. Crystal pyramids and mesmerising lighting designs blend seamlessly within the ancient Roman amphitheatre, creating a technologically advanced yet intimate rendition of this beloved opera. The multifaceted artist Stefano Poda takes the helm as the director, making his Arena debut.

The grand premiere of Verdi's timeless masterpiece, a symbol of the Arena since its inception, will take place on Friday, 16 June at 9pm. The performance will be broadcast live worldwide on Rai1 by Rai Cultura, featuring the celebrated star Anna Netrebko in the titular role, alongside the tenor Yusif Eyvazov as Radamès. They will be joined by Olesya Petrova as Amneris, Roman Burdenko as Amonasro, and Michele Pertusi as Ramfis.

Describing his creation, which encompasses direction, set design, costumes, lighting and choreography, Poda explains, “The audience will be greeted with a grand installation: modernity is not merely about chasing after the contemporary but taking a leap into the future. The ancient Egyptian heritage becomes Verdi's own, transformed into an all-Italian treasure represented within a secular cathedral—a sacred and age-old space ready to harness the finest energy Italy has to offer”.

It is fitting that Aida, the opera most beloved and performed by audiences worldwide, has been chosen to kick off this landmark 100th edition in Verona. Poda's poetic vision will present an Aida that is innovative and unlike traditional productions at the Verona amphitheatre. “The stage will become a microcosm buzzing with a myriad of experiences”, remarks the director. “It will be a technological, dynamic, ever-changing, and surprising marvel. Simultaneously, the ambition is to create a recognisable and familiar journey, tailored to human dimensions—a Dantean voyage from a world in conflict to an intimate narrative. Harmonising these two aspects—grandeur and intimacy—poses a challenge in tackling a monumental opera like Aida”.

Verdi's masterpiece will have a dual premiere. On Saturday, 17 June at 9:15pm, other exceptional voices will grace the stage, including Yusif Eyvazov and Michele Pertusi, returning for this performance. Maria José Siri will assume the role of the Ethiopian princess, Anita Rachvelishvili will portray Amneris, and Amartuvshin Enkhbat will embody Amonasro.

Following the Arena's esteemed tradition, this production of Aida will showcase international stars throughout its 13 scheduled performances until 8 September. Among them are Gregory Kunde, Ekaterina Semenchuk, Ludovic Tézier, Anna Pirozzi, and Elena Stikhina. Conductors Marco Armiliato, who will also lead the two premieres, and Daniel Oren will alternate on the podium.

The war-stricken world of Aida will materialise on stage through the participation of over 300 performers—soloists, chorus members, dancers, and mimes—adorned in garments inspired by Paco Rabanne and Capucci, with helmets radiating brilliance akin to the works of Damien Hirst.

Cecilia Gasdia, General Manager and Artistic Director of the Fondazione Arena, expresses her gratitude, stating, “This is the culmination of extensive efforts following the Arena’s restoration and the pandemic. It is a success made possible thanks to all the Fondazione staff, the Board of Directors, the Institutions, and the joint forces of the patrons of the 67 Columns for Verona Arena. This project, now in its third edition, as well as our partners and sponsors, deserve our deepest appreciation”.

Stefano Trespidi, Deputy Artistic Director, adds, “Prepare to witness an Aida like no other at Verona Arena—an extraordinary performance that combines arts and styles never before seen in the amphitheatre. This is a place where innovative and unique solutions can and should be experimented with. However, these solutions are based on a respect for the amphitheatre, the opera, and the music. Stefano Poda tells a human story that, as depicted in the libretto, traverses the conflicts of war, power, and jealousy, ultimately arriving at peace by harnessing the full range of his artistic vision and the collective efforts of the Fondazione, which firmly believed in this project”.

The 100th Edition of Verona Arena Opera Festival (2023), held under the patronage of the Ministry of Culture and the Veneto Region, will continue until 9 September, featuring eight operas, four gala evenings, and an show-stopping concert.

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 Metinvest/Saving Lives, and Genny, which will provide 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.





Press Office, Fondazione Arena di Verona  

Via Roma 7/D, 37121 Verona  

Tel. (+39) 045 805.1861-1905-1891-1939



National and International Press Office  

T. +39 339 1010571 (Irene Sala) / +39 339 6483224 (Firmina Adorno)  

T. +39 331 8361276 (Paolo Cairoli)  



Box office  

Via Dietro Anfiteatro 6/B, 37121 Verona  

Call centre (+39) 045 800.51.51   

TicketOne presale points



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