25th July 2019
Andrea Bocelli in a very special performance in his hometown's theatre, Teatro del Silenzio in Lajatico.
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After the Colosseum in Rome, Verona‘s Arena is the one of the largest ancient amphitheatres remaining intact to this day. It is transformed each Summer into one of the most spectacular musical venues on the planet, as it provides the dramatic backdrop for the famous Opera Festival between June and August.
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As the name implies (Fenice is the Italian word for phoenix), this theatre literally rose from the ashes. In 1774 a terrible blaze destroyed Venice's famous Teatro San Benedetto, to be replaced 18 years later by the La Fenice Theatre. Since then, fire has continued to play an important role in the history of the opera house, and today offers visitors the most up to date stage machinery and incredible accoustics within a shell which has been restored to its former glory.
Following a blaze which tore through and destroyed the Teatro Regio Ducale, a new theatre was constructed in 1778 on the site of the Santa Maria alla Scala Church, which lent its name to the new construction. The Foyer and sumptous Auditorium of the Opera House were completely restored and its doors opened again in 2004. The beautifully decorated balconies were once the preserve of important Milanese families. This was the place to be seen in and the performances were often little more than a side show to this main event.
The theatre enjoys a stunning location on the beautiful Piazza Castello in the historic centre of Turin. Inaugurated in 1740, the Teatro Regio was renamed the Teatro Nazionale when it fell under the control of Napoleon. Following financially troubled times the theatre was taken over by the the town of Turin and the venue blossomed towards the end of the 19th Century. It burned down in 1936 and wasn't rebuilt until the architect Carlo Mollino was tasked with the rebuild in 1967. The grand reopening took place in 1973 with a performance of Giuseppe Verdis Oper Les vêpres siciliennes.
This imposing theatre was built according to an original design by Gian Antonio Selva, who had already been responsible for the construction of Venice's La Fenice Theatre. The facade of the building, which was created by Matteo Pertsch bears a passing resemblance to the famous La Scala in Milan. After being renamed several times in the century since it inauguration in 1801, it was finally given its current name in 1901, in honour of composer Giuseppe Verdi, upon his death.
One of the most historic and prestigious opera houses in the world, the Teatro San Carlo opened its doors for the first time back in 1737 even before the Milan Scala. Boasting seating for more than 3000 people and with a 35m long stage it was the largest of its kind for many years. In 1816 a fire destroyed large parts of the building but the theatre was immediately renovated in the classical style and opened once again in the same year. The lavish internal decorations provides a wonderful setting for unforgettable musical events.
No other composer can claim to have given more impetus to Italian Opera around the turn of the 19th Century than the Giacomo Puccini who was born in Lucca, Tuscany. Many of his most popular works were created in his villa in Torre del Lago. As a tribute to him The Puccini Festival was inaugurated in 1931 and presents his works from a breathtaking stage directly on the shores of Lake Massaciuccoli. The festival continues annually in July and August to this day and enthralls international audiences.
Emperor Caracalla opended Rome's second largest public baths back in AD 216 and today they remain the best preserved ancient baths to be found anywhere in the world. The baths were first used for operatic performances as an experiment in 1937, and it was a triumph from the outset. These days they provide the setting for a really extraordinary musical experience that takes place every summer with an open air stage for unforgettable productions of Italian operas and classical ballets.