This year’s opera season at Arena d Verona – the 97th – opens on Friday 21 June with Verdi’s La Traviata. If you have never been to an opera before, La Traviata is full of big tunes you will recognise, so is a good jumping off point for getting to know opera. You will undoubtedly have heard the duet Libiamo ne’ lieti calici before – and even if you don’t know the words to join in, you will certainly feel like doing so! Here is a taster from the 2016 production of La Traviata at Arena di Verona so you can be pitch perfect!
This production was also originally directed by the great Italian director, Franco Zeffirelli, who died this week, so this year it is a very special production. Zeffirelli also directed the iconic 1968 film Romeo and Juliet. The original bed from the film is now in Casa di Giulietta in Verona.
Arena di Verona – “Where Dreams Come True”
The motto of the arena is “Where dreams come true” – and at every performance two members of the audience are chosen to sit in a very special place near the stage. Every member of the audience also has a small candle to light before the performance starts, so that the whole arena glows with candlelight.
The 2019 Verona opera season closes on 7 September and one highlight of Arena di Verona this year is the 50th anniversary concert to celebrate the career of Placido Domingo in August. I already have my ticket!
I visit Verona every year – it is where some of my ancestors come from – and it is, of course, the city of Romeo and Juliet, as well as being near Venice and Lake Garda.
You can read more about the opera season at Verona at Arena di Verona’s website – including all the details you need to book.
Listen to excerpts from the operas in Arena di Verona’s 97th summer opera season.
All images copyright A. Meredith