Verona, 13 thousand for “Carmen”. Arena, season at the start in Zeffirelli’s name

Full house at the Verona Arena for Carmen with the staging that Franco Zeffirelli had imagined

Franco Zeffirelli then Carmen had imagined itto the point of outlining it some details in the sketches, but without being able to concretize them. At least so far. When conductor Marco Armiliato, also the musical director of this 99th edition of the Arena di Verona Opera Festival, arrives on the podium, we are in a moment in Seville, where the four-act opera comedian comes to life. Bizet did not know of success. Almost a fate written between the lines of Carmen it to leave for posterity, each time, a piece to add. The honor of witnessing the Florentine master’s best intuitions, from his debut in the Arena in 1995 to the staging in 2009, belongs to those who last night could admire the definitive synthesis of his directorial vision with the various technical adjustments developed over the years, production after production. 13 thousand lucky spectators are the first to welcome this performance, which predicts the reruns on June 24 and 30, July 14, 21 and 31 and August 11, 14 and 27s: a number that has not been touched at the Veronese Amphitheater since 2019 (pop concerts and TV events feature an audience of a thousand fewer people due to the need for direction and camera space). From 1995 we find the gaze of the colossal, with the lush and colorful scenography that had been gradually streamlined to shorten the scene changes, the rotating panels, the mountains behind the houses, the market days’ density of humanity, but even the posters and bullfighting. And to that the materialization of the master’s dream: the velar, which frames the stage, able to accommodate the bustling living fresco.


Designed by Zeffirelli

A frame of fabrics that, as Zeffirelli had dreamed and designed it, brings to mind indoor theaterswith wings, trellis and galleries to hold back the infinity that we are witnessing here, under the Scaligero sky. A powerful visual result only achieved thanks to teamwork from the Arena Foundation involving the Franco Zeffirelli Foundation along with the master’s historical collaborators, such as his student Stefano Trespidi, now deputy artistic director of the Arena Foundation and director, Lucia Real, who has taken up. the original choreographies of El Camborio with the Arena dance troupe coordinated by Gaetano Petrosino and with the extraordinary participation of the Spanish dance of Compaia Antonio Gades directed by Stella Arauzo. The costumes are the originals by Anna Anni and the lights redesigned by Paolo Mazzon. Unlike last year, the choirmasters come down from the side stands, where they were demoted in 2021 for unforeseen reasons, returned to put on their costumes and animate the stage, mingling with soloists, dancers, mimes, extras for a total of 450 people, who alternate in the four acts. The Arena di Verona Foundation’s orchestra was a major protagonist and first successful architect with the choir led by Ulisse Trabacchin, A.Li.Ve children’s choir led by Paolo Facincani and an international cast of leading artists: a debut on stage for the French mezzo-soprano Clmentine Margaine as protagonist and for baritone Luca Micheletti as bullfighter Escamillo, along with American tenor Brian Jagdes Don Jos and soprano Karen Gardeazabals Micaela. Carlo Bosi and Nicol Ceriani are the two close smugglers Remendado and Dancairo, while Carmen’s friends, Frasquita and Mercedes, are played by Daniela Cappiello and Sofia Koberidze. Gabriele Sagona and Biagio Pizzuti, Zuniga and Morales, respectively, complete the cast. During the season, a host of international stars will alternate to make each of Carmen’s nine performances a real premiere: Everyone at the Arena debuts the protagonists J’Nai Bridges, Elina Garanca and Yulia Matochkina, flanked by Vittorio Grigolo and Roberto Alagna (both for the first time in the role of Don Jos in Verona). Carmen will never give up. Free born and free to die !.

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18 June 2022 (amendment 18 June 2022 | 11.09)

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