Will Verona Arena Summer Festival Attract Tourists Amidst COVID-19?
Largest open-air theatre in the world down to 1,000 spectators
In the heart of music and with a prestigious all-Italian cast, on the inaugural evening of July 25 and with major international stars for the month of August between gala evenings and symphonic concerts, the Summer 2020 Festival at the Arena di Verona is ready to start in the its renewed role with a central stage. With a capacity reduced to 1,000 spectators, a unique event in history now animated by the desire to support the recovery of its territory, this stunning venue will in the name of quality and centenary tradition continue its summer tradition that has made it famous all over the world.
On July 25, the Summer 2020 Festival, “In the Heart of Music,” will kick off with a great tribute to Italian art and artists: Francesco Meli, Saimir Pirgu, Roberto Aronica, Fabio Armiliato, Barbara Frittoli, Eleonora Buratto, Luca Salsi , Leo Nucci, Daniela Barcellona, Michele Pertusi, and Katia Ricciarelli for a total of 31 Italian artists.
The inaugural evening is configured as a tribute to the wounded country of Italy, to its great tradition of bel canto, (beautiful singing), and to the quality of the nation’s great school whose solidity has been severely tested by the challenges imposed by the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic.
Following this opening, on July 31 will be a premiere with Mozart’s Requiem directed by Marco Armiliato with Vittoria Yeo, Sonia Ganassi, Saimir Pirgu, and Alex Esposito in an ideal greeting to the many victims of the pandemic and their families.
From Saturday, August 1, to the closing night of August 29, there will be a succession of galas dedicated to international composers, orchestral masters, and singers among the most popular in the world. And it is thanks to this spirit of protection of artistic quality that the sponsors confirmed their commitment by making this edition feasible, despite the limited number of spectators.
After months of continuous efforts not to leave the Verona arena silent in this difficult year for the Italian cultural sector, the Arenian season finally starts again with a new set-up of stage which will make this edition truly historic and unrepeatable. Arena di Verona Foundation, therefore, wants to give a very strong message of hope through art with an ethical and aesthetic initiative, which can only be born in the largest open-air theatre in the world.
The Superintendent and Artistic Director, Ms. Cecilia Gasdia, commented on the choice as follows:
“I consider it an act due to the defense of our heritage which, as in any performing art, is made above all of people of their dedication, of continuous study for the highest quality, and frankly given that facing the stage is not an easy thing, even of their psychological strength.”
She underlined: “Guaranteeing continuity to our theatre, our artists, workers, and to our territory has not been and still is not easy, penalized as we are by the capacity forced to 1,000 spectators on the normal size of 13,500. It is, therefore, important on the one hand, to thank our sponsors who have never left us alone and on the other hand to continue working together with the best forces in the area.”
For known security reasons, the Verona Arena Foundation offered only numbered seats for sale, setting prices lower than those foreseen for the previous 2020 programming.
The privilege of being donors
To highlight the sense of being spectators of an arena with 1,000 spectators, a unique event in history, 2 new tariffs were born reserved for those who want to become a donor and witness their support for the project in such a delicate moment. Among the advantages of becoming donors, there is the possibility to book first sector seats which will be assigned in order of priority.
The Mayor and President of the Verona Arena Foundation, Federico Sboarina, said:
“This Festival is the symbol of the rebirth of our city, of the music and culture that thanks to the Arena Foundation return to be protagonists in Verona and in Italy. With Nel cuore della Musica (in the heart of music) we have created a unique project: on the new central stage, some of the greatest Italian and international artists will perform and absolute premieres will be staged, never before realized in the amphitheatre. I am convinced that the 2020 edition of the Festival will be extraordinary, in every sense.”