Passions & Places

Arena Sferisterio

Sferisterio Opera Festival

The Sferisterio of Macerata stands out as one of the most prominent architectural structures of the late European Neoclassical Style.

Walking inside, one may be struck by the surprisingly wide space the Sferisterio reveals: a huge arena (90 x 36 mt.) marked by two straight edges joined by means of a long, wide curve facing the huge background wall, which is 18 metres high and almost 90 metres wide.

Over the years the Sferisterio, which had been conceived for sports activities, turned into a venue for opera performances. The first opera to be staged at the Sferisterio was Aida, in 1921.

This unique space and its wonderful acoustics have drawn to Macerata the most popular international performers like Luciano Pavarotti, Placido Domingo, Monserrat Caballè, Marilyn Horne, Fiorenza Cossotto, Ruggero Raimondi, Mariella Devia, Josè Carreras, Katia Ricciarelli and Renato Bruson.

2006 was a year of great changes: the summer season officially became a Festival and the changeover coincided with Pier Luigi Pizzi’s appointment as artistic director.Milanese by birth but Venetian at heart, Pizzi is a stage director, set and costume designer of international renown.

The Seduction is the common thread which runs through the 2008 edition of the Sferisterio Opera Festival at Macerata. The selection of this theme brings to a natural conclusion the fascinating triptych devised by Pier Luigi Pizzi. Being the most insidious form of power which can be exerted on others, seduction establishes a strong link with last year’s season, devoted to Power Games.

The 2008 edition of the Festival will be launched by Philippe Daverio on 24 July, with a conference which is to be followed, on the same day, by the first staging in modern times of Cleopatra, a melodrama by the composer Lauro Rossi who was born in Macerata. The operas to be staged at the Sferisterio are Bizet’s Carmen, designed and directed by Oscarwinning set designer Dante Ferretti, Verdi’s Attila and Puccini’s Tosca, the latter coming as a tribute to the Italian composer on the 150th anniversary of his birth. The Festival will also feature Resurrexi, a sacred oratory by Alberto Colla which has been written as a homage to Pope Benedict XVI.

The Lauro Rossi theatre, in cooperation with Ancona’s Teatro delle Muse, will host Neues vom Tage by the German composer Paul Hindemith.

Finally, the new season will see the University of Macerata as a venue for two of the Festival’s performances: the San Paolo Auditorium will host the first-ever staging of The Servant,

created by Marco Tutino and inspired by the homonymous short story by Robin Maugham, whereas the University’s Aula Magna will be the venue for a conference on Seduzione e Filosofia, held by the philosopher Umberto Curi, but also for Per aver troppo amato il mondo, a reading performance celebrating the 400th anniversary of Alberico Gentili’s death.

Stagione Lirica 2008
"La seduzione"

Venerdì 25, Giovedì 31 Luglio
Martedì 5, Venerdì 8, Martedì 12 Agosto  
Ore  21:00 
Georges Bizet
Libretto di Henri Meilhac e Ludovic Halévy

Arena Sferisterio
Sabato 26 Luglio
Venerdì 1, Giovedì 7, Domenica 10 Agosto  
Ore  21:00 
Giacomo Puccini
Libretto di Giuseppe Giacosa e Luigi Illica Coproduzione con la Fondazione Pergolesi Spontini di Jesi e Teatri S.p.A. di Treviso
Arena Sferisterio
Sabato 2, Mercoledì 6, Sabato 9 Agosto  
Ore  21:00
Giuseppe Verdi
Libretto di Temistocle Solera 

Arena Sferisterio
Domenica 3 Agosto  
Ore  21:00 
Alberto Colla
Oratorio sacro su testo di Roberto Mussapi e musiche di Alberto Colla a cura di Paolo Panizza

Teatro Lauro Rossi
Giovedì 24, Martedì 29 Luglio  
Ore  21:00 
Melodramma su libretto di Marco d'Arienzo 

Auditorium San Paolo
Domenica 27, Mercoledì 30 Luglio  
Ore  21:00 
Marco Tutino
The Servant
Tratto dal racconto di Robin Maugham

Teatro Lauro Rossi
Domenica 10, Lunedì 11 Agosto  
Ore  17:00 
Paul Hindemith
Neues vom Tage
Libretto di Marcellus Schiffer. L'11 agosto in scena alle ore 21

Aula Magna - Università degli Studi Macerata
Giovedì 24 Luglio  
Ore  17.00 
Philippe Daverio
La Seduzione

Sponsored by Comune di Macerata


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