The 2007 Opera Festival in the Arena di Verona
The 85th Opera Festival of the Fondazione Arena di Verona will take place this year between 22nd June and 1st September, with five different operas and a total of 49 performances.
The summer season will begin with Giuseppe Verdi’s Nabucco, a new production by Denis Krief, who, as well as director, is also stage and costume designer for the opera. Nabucco is Arena’s third most-performed opera (after Aida and Carmen), with 16 different productions and a total of 146 performances.
The principal singers will be Leo Nucci and Ambrogio Maestri in the lead role; Maria Guleghina, Susan Neves and Andrea Gruber, who will take the part of Abigaille; Carlo Colombara and Silvano Carroli, who will sing Zaccaria; and Nino Surguladze, who will play the role of Fenena. The orchestra and choir of the Arena will be conducted by the renowned Daniel Oren, while the choir master for all performances will be Marco Faelli. The opera will be performed ten times, until 31st August.
The second opera in the programme is Giuseppe Verdi’s Aida, which is also the second new production for 2007. This is Arena’s best-loved and most-performed opera; since the first opera season in 1913 – at this, the biggest open-air theatre in the world – 47 different productions and a total of 500 performances have taken place here.
This year, too, Aida will be the most-performed opera of the festival, with 17 performances until 1st September.
The opera will be directed by Giampiero Solari, with costume and stage design by Sergio Tramonti. Daniel Oren will return to the podium as the conductor after Nabucco. The cast of singers includes very well-known names such as Hui He, Amarilli Nizza and Micaela Carosi (in the role of Aida), Piero Giuliacci and Marco Berti (as Radames) and Marianne Cornetti, Elena Manistina and Dolora Zajick (Amneris).
Arena’s third opera this year will be Giacomo Puccini’s La Bohème, under Arnaud Bernard’s direction, with costume and stage designs by William Orlandi. This production made its debut in 2005. La Bohème will be conducted by Lü Jia, who is also the musical director of the Arena di Verona. In the seven dates scheduled for the opera (between 30th June and 27th August), the principal roles will be taken by Tamar Iveri (Mimì) Marcello Giordani and Fabio Sartori (Rodolfo), Gabriele Viviani and Fabio Maria Capitanucci (Marcello) and Ainhoa Arteta (Musetta).
The fourth opera of the Festival will be Gioachino Rossini’s Il Barbiere di Siviglia. This will be the third new production of 2007 and there will be eight performances from 14th July to 30th August.
ugo de Ana, its director, as well as its stage and costume designer, is responsible for this visually-stunning production. Leo Nucci and Franco Vassallo will perform the role of Figaro, Francesco Meli will sing the part of Almaviva, the role of Don Bartolo will be taken by Bruno De Simone and Annick Massis will be Rosina. The choreographer is Leda Lojodice.
The fifth opera in the 2007 Festival is Giuseppe Verdi’s La Traviata. There will be five performances between 4th August and 24th August, all under the direction of Graham Vick, with the stage and costumes designs of Paul Brown. This production made its debut in 2004.
Graham Vick has transposed the story to the present day, while remaining completely faithful to the plot, and the stage design is striking and innovative in the hands of his long-term collaborator, Paul Brown. The choreography is by Ron Howell. The cast of singers includes prestigious names such as the soprano Inva Mula (Violetta Valery), the tenor Roberto Aronica (Alfredo Germont) and the baritones Ambrogio Maestri and Franco Vassallo.
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