Our nearby town of Macerata, is famous for the opera and ballet and the highlight is the "Stagione Lirica" which takes place in the 7,000-seater Sferisterio - a huge Neoclassical arena erected by a few wealthy gentlemen living in the area.
Construction began on 2 October 1820, based on a project by Salvatore Innocenzi, which was soon to be halted for three years as the citizens, who had put up the money could not come to an agreement on the designs. They finally chose the drawings by Ireneo Aleandri, who was at the time a young and unknown architect from San Severino Marche. The Sferisterio was eventually inaugurated on 5 Semptember 1829. This, then, was to be a new urban arena, which could accomodate festivals, tournaments, circuses, bull fights, equestrian events and also political meetings. Originally intended to house Italy’s national sport of handball, by around 1909 the game’s popularity began to decline due to the growing enthusiasm for football.
In 1914 The Sferisterio showcased its first operatic performance of Vincenzo Bellini’s NORMA and it was realised that there were great acoustics. Soon it became an open air opera "theatre" and, as a neo-classical monument, is now second only to Verona as Italy's best open air venue.
With prices from only 15 euro's on the balcony, it really is a once in a lifetime experience!
Hints For Visiting The Opera:
Language: Operas are typically performed in their original language with Italian subtitles. Get to understand the story before you go to see the opera!
Duration: Operas, ballets and concerts can run anywhere from 1.5 to 3 hours plus.
Dress: Smart dress is required for Italian musical events. You may be turned away if you are dressed too casually. Opening night opera performances require a full dark suit for men, an elegant dress for ladies.
2018 Opera Season
The Magic Flute by Mozart
IL FLAUTO MAGICO 20 and 29 July, 4 and 12 August 2018 The Magic Flute by Mozart is a Singspiel (i.e. an opera with spoken dialogues), with music and scenes touching upon humour and fantasy, but also drama and ethics. Its characters can be interpreted literally but also metaphorically: thus, the Queen of the Night
L' ELISIR D'AMORE 21 and 27 July, 5 and 10 August 2018 His name is Nemorino (hormone-ridden, little brain, big heart), her name is Adina (shrewd and seductive, but all in all a gentle soul), the other’s name is Belcore (big mouth, slightly rude) and the fourth one is Dulcamara (a true swindler, who is nonetheless harmless)
La TRAVIATA 22 and 28 July, 3 and 11 August 2018 No opera is more contemporary and better suited to denounce the evils of conformity than Giuseppe Verdi’s La Traviata (with libretto by Francesco Maria Piave). It shows how sweet can spontaneous love be, as between passionate Alfredo (“De’ miei bollenti spiriti”) and dreamy, shy Violetta (“È strano, è strano… Sempre libera”).
There are many other venues for music and opera, including Fabriano, Urbino, Fano, Loreto( where an international choir festival takes place in April) and the famous Rossini Opera festival in Pesaro in August.
Fano - Fano Jazz by the Sea - July.
Polverigi - Festival Internazionale Inteatro - contemporary theatre - July
Fano - Il Violino e la Selce - mid-July to early-August
Urbino - Early Music Festival - July
San Severino Marche - Blues Festival - July
Osimo - International Dance Festival - July
Senigallia - International Piano Competition - August-September
Amandola - International Theatre Festival - end August to early September
Castelfidardo - International Accordion Festival early October
Ancona - Jazz Festival - Teatro Sperimentale - early November