Rome opens summer opera season in Circus Maximus.

Rome stages summer opera season under the stars.

Rome opens its summer opera season in the Circus Maximus, with Italy’s president Sergio Mattarella attending the opening production of Il Trovatore by Verdi on 15 June.

The summer festival – presented by the city’s opera house Teatro dell opera di Roma – takes place against the backdrop of the Palatine Hill over 26 evenings until 6 August.

The staging of Verdi’s masterpiece will signify a “return to the excitement and pleasure of the great opera for all the citizens of Rome and for the tourists who are returning to our city,” the opera house’s superintendent Carlo Fuortes told news agency ANSA.

Fuortes described Mattarella’s presence on opening night as an honor at this “important moment” when theatres return to perform in front of live audiences after extended closures and restrictions due to covid-19.

The stage is set for Rome’s summer 2021 opera festival. Photo: Fabrizio Sansoni / TOR.

Fuortes also stressed that the open-air theatre would be able to “welcome the public safely, in a setting of extraordinary beauty.”

The new staging of Il Trovatore is directed by Lorenzo Mariani, with Teatro dell’Opera musical director Daniele Gatti on the podium, and a prominent cast including Roberta Mantegna, Fabio Sartori and Christopher Maltman.

The 2021 open-air opera program will include Madama Butterfly (16 July-6 August); and La bohème (30 July-5 August).

In addition to opera, the summer program includes ballet with Swan Lake (22 June-2 July), a concert by Vinicio Capossela (23 June), and Verdi’s Requiem (24 July).

ll Trovatore at the Circus Maximus. Photo: Fabrizio Sansoni / TOR.

From 1937 until 2019, Rome’s summer opera season took place at the Baths of Caracalla. However, the historic venue was ruled out for being incompatible with Italy’s social distancing rules.

The new 1,500-sqm stage in Circo Massimo is designed and built-in compliance with covid-19 regulations, with four separate entrances for the public.

Last year 23,000 spectators attended the summer season at the Circus Maximus, with the stage located directly opposite the workshop that makes the opera house’s sets, scenery, and costumes.

Ticket details for the 2021 summer season can be found on the Teatro dell opera di Roma website.

Cover image: Getting ready to host Il Trovatore at the Circus Maximus. Photo credit: Fabrizio Sansoni / TOR.