Italian Summer Music Festivals Get the Green Light

Italian Summer Music Festivals Get the Green Light

After the interruption of live performances due to the Coronavirus pandemic, opera is set to make a comeback in Italy. The country’s international summer festivals have reshaped their performance schedules to respect social distancing regulations. Showcased will be operas from the Italian repertoire, along with several newly commissioned works. The following festivals will be offering programs that feature works from the Casa Ricordi catalogue.

The 66th edition of the Puccini Festival in Torre del Lago, which is the first for new artistic director Giorgio Battistelli, got underway on June 27 with Puccini’s comic opera Gianni Schicchi at the Cittadella del Carnevale in Viareggio. It was the first opera staged in Italy (and Europe) following the lockdown. Next month, audiences can look forward to performances of Tosca (August 6 and 14) and Madama Butterfly (August 8 and 21). 

The Rossini Opera Festival in Pesaro, headed by superintendent and artistic director Ernesto Palacio, presents La cambiale di matrimonio (The Marriage Contract) at Teatro Rossini (August 8, 11, 13, 17 and 20), also featuring a performance of Rossini’s cantata Joan of Arc, as transcribed for voice and orchestra by Salvatore Sciarrino. Also scheduled are two performances of Il viaggio a Reims (The Journey to Reims) (August 12 and 15).

The 63rd edition of the Two Worlds Festival in Spoleto is slated for the last two weekends in August (20-23; 27-30), instead of the dates initially scheduled. Despite the reduction of performances and dates, artistic director Giorgio Ferrara has chosen to include the world premiere of Silvia Colasanti’s Arianna, Fedra, Didone, three melodramas for spoken voice, female chorus and orchestra, in Piazza Duomo (August 22). The work was commissioned by the Two Worlds Festival. 

July 25 marks the opening of 'Nel cuore della Musica' (In the Heart of Music) at the Arena in Verona, and runs through August 29. It promises to be a one-of-a-kind event, in terms of the performances scheduled and the new stage setup, which superintendent and artistic director Cecilia Gasdia put in place in order to respect social distancing regulations. The variegated program features Gianni Schicchi (August 21). It’s the first-ever performance of the work at the Arena, and stars Leo Nucci in the lead role. The Arena Orchestra will be conducted by Francesco Ivan Ciampa.