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Macerata Opera Festival – 100%100 Sferisterio
Aida and Traviata to celebrate 100 years of opera at the Sferisterio dance and crossover complete the festival program
100 years of opera at the Sferisterio, Aida and Traviata to celebrate

Stages two operas, Aida and Traviata, and a dense calendar of events with dance, music and crossover, further enriched by in-depth studies and conversations, conferences, activities for children and families and charity, the Macerata Opera Festival 2021, on stage from 23 July to 13 August.

Con “100%100 Sferisterio”, il titolo scelto quest’anno, si festeggia il centenario della prima rappresentazione lirica andata il scena nella grande arena maceratese, l’Aida di Giuseppe Verdi, protagonista il soprano Francisca Solari.

It was 1921 when the Sferisterio, born for the game of the ball at the bracelet - great champions such as Carlo Didimi had performed, also sung by Leopardi - transformed into the grandiose open-air theater that it still is today, welcoming for the first time the 'opera. The creator of the turning point, Count Pieralberto Conti, driven by his love for the singer Francisca Solari, who was the protagonist of that impressive production of Aida, then replicated for 17 evenings.

The Festival's homage to that distant premiere will be a new Aida production that will inaugurate the centenary festival on 23 July. The Verdi masterpiece will be entrusted to the director Valentina Carrasco, from Argentina, with a past in the Fura dels Baus, and will see on the podium the musical director of the Macerata Opera Festival, Francesco Lanzillotta. Starring Maria Teresa Leva (Aida), Luciano Ganci (Radames), Veronica Simeoni (Amneris), Marco Caria (Amonasro). The show will have sets by Carles Berga, costumes by Silvia Aymonino, choreography by Massimiliano Volpini and lights by Peter van Praet. The edition of Aida at the Sferisterio in 2021 will also celebrate another anniversary: it will be the 150th anniversary of its debut in Cairo in 1871. Repeats scheduled for Sunday 1 August, Saturday 7 August, Thursday 12 August. The arena was transformed into a real open-air theater.

The second title in the program, or the most representative and iconic show of the productions at the Sferisterio in the last thirty years, the Traviata called "of the mirrors" conceived in 1992 by Henning Brockhaus and Josef Svoboda (and then resumed for another seven editions until 2018), which it will be rearranged with new direction, choreography and costumes. Première on Sunday 25 July (reruns on Saturday 31 July, Sunday 8 August, Friday 13 August) with costumes by Giancarlo Colis, choreography by Valentina Escobar and lights by Brockhaus and Fabrizio Gobbi himself. In the role of the protagonist the soprano Claudia Pavone, celebrated Gilda in the Rigoletto of 2019, together with Marco Ciaponi (Alfredo), Sergio Vitale (Giorgio Germont). On the podium the very young talent Paolo Bortolameolli, recently appointed Associate Director of the Los Angeles Philharmonic.
Together with the FORM - Marchigiana Philharmonic Orchestra, in the two operas there will be, as usual, the Marchigiano Lyric Choir "Vincenzo Bellini" directed by Martino Faggiani and the Banda Salvadei.

On the bill on July 24th the first of the 'not only opera' events, a surprising dance show, “Pas-de-deux for Toes and Fingers”, starring the famous étoile Svetlana Zacharova, with the participation of the violin star Vadim Repin. On stage with them a group of first dancers from the Bolshoi of Moscow, including the Italian Jacopo Tissi, Mikhail Lobukhin, Denis Savin and Vyacheslav Lopatin and the FORM Orchestra Filarmonica Marchigiana. The show is an unprecedented duet "on the tips and fingers", with choreography and musical pages of the great classical repertoire.

Tuesday 27 July continues to celebrate one of the great artisan and musical traditions of the Marches: the accordion. Back on the podium a favorite of the Macerata public, Enrico Melozzi - famous artist also known for his collaborations with Sanremo - for the concert "100 accordionists" made in collaboration with PIF (International Accordion Prize) Castelfidardo and with Pigini Accordiones for the 75th anniversary; together with this unprecedented accordion orchestra there will be the soprano Estìbaliz Martyn for a great evening of sharing and celebrations between Mozart, Ravel and also popular themes and pop music. The musical coordination is by Massimiliano Pitocco.

The second weekend opens on Friday 30 July with another famous artist, returning from one of the great successes of the last television season, the pianist Stefano Bollani who - like Zacharova - returns to Macerata to celebrate the centenary of his first opera with another love story, the one between himself and the piano: Piano Variations on Jesus Christ Superstar is the title of his new totally unpublished evening dedicated to the masterpiece by Andrew LIoyd Webber and Tim Rice (50 years after the release of the album original), made with the approval of the English composer himself. "I chose the shape of the piano only because the love story is between the rock opera and me" - explains Bollani - "And a love story grows in beauty if it remains intimate"

First week of August very intense with, Tuesday 3 August, "Stuck, Opera on the Wall" an evening of vertical dance signed by Il Posto Vertical Dance Company and Marco Castelli Small Ensemble, with videos, dancers and live music: a creation of the choreographer Wanda Moretti and the musician Marco Castelli on the richness of biodiversity and the complexity of the strategies of life on earth. The idea that moves around this show is the possibility of reflecting on the many aspects that make up the human being, showing another part of us, in which our opposite is not understood negatively but opens the doors to an overwhelming thought. . The image of the human being in the architecture of the city produces in us the idea of moldable bodies in rigid spaces, these fascinations were born from the desire to reflect the physical relationship we have with the city and from the need, today more than ever, to anchor the dance to a real place.

Dance returns on Thursday 5 August with "Grazie Rudy" according to the festival's second dance Gala in honor of Rudolf Nureyev, legendary dancer who also performed at the Sferisterio in 1982. An evening produced by Luigi Pignotti - for over 25 years right arm of the artist and president of the Nureyev Association - which brings together some esteemed today's dancers from Moscow and St. Petersburg who therefore have their example in the “flying tartar”.

Friday 6 August tribute to the Supreme Poet in the 700 years since his death with the new show by Neri Marcorè and the Arcangelo Corelli Orchestra directed by Jacopo Rivani: "Dante's divine women" (in co-production by the Macerata Opera Festival with the Ravenna Festival and Mittelfest on the occasion of Dante's anniversary) is a reconnaissance of the female figures of the Divine Comedy that is intertwined with a sort of songbook that identifies titles that are linked, for free - and often amused - association to the themes and presences evoked and recalled from time to time from Dante's afterlife. Forty-two female characters, from Cleopatra to Pia de 'Tolomei, from Cunizza to Francesca to build a human landscape full of suggestions and meanings.

Tuesday 10 August, the arrival on the stage of the Sferisterio of Arturo Brachetti, legend of transformation, one of the most famous Italian artists of the world, protagonist of "Pierino, the wolf and the other" with the Ensemble Symphony Orchestra directed by Giacomo Loprieno, a project that starts from the famous musical fairy tale by Sergej Prokof'ev - which over time has become a piece of skill for great actors and musicians - to become an evening of dissemination and involvement in the hands (and theatrical art) of Brachetti for the public of all ages, which will contain many surprises.

The celebratory program of the Macerata Opera Festival 100 × 100 Sferisterio also includes two other now traditional occasions: the “Stage Reverse” review and the Opera Night.

“Palco Reverse” is the format that sees the audience on the stage next to the protagonists for an even more engaging show. This year the program offers three specially created events: "D'un immortale amor - Music and verses on Love, time and death" by Silvia Colasanti (Wednesday 28 July), choreographer and interpreter Erika Rombaldoni in "Amami" (Wednesday 4 August) and the recital by tenor Riccardo Massi (Wednesday 11 August).
For details:

The "Night of the Opera", organized as always by the Municipality of Macerata in collaboration with the Arena Sferisterio Association and Confcommercio Marche Centrali, is scheduled for Thursday 29 July, preceded by a series of events "Waiting for the Night of the Opera": from 10 June to 22 July, every week in a different district of the city

Macerata Opera Festival – 100%100 Sferisterio

Author: Sabine Frantellizzi

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