A tour  to find out more about opera and the incredible city of Verona
3 Luglio 2017
redazione (380 articles)

A tour to find out more about opera and the incredible city of Verona

Verona never had a tour dedicated exclusively to the Opera in the Arena and Assoguide, in collaboration with Opera Arena Magazine, in two weeks made it possible for tourists and local citizens to find out more about the city of Verona and its long connection to OPERA. E-mail reservations are mandatory –

Here the tenor Giovanni Zenatello and the theater manager Ottone Rovato came up with the idea of the Arena opera season; here Ettore Fagiuoli, in 1913, thanks to the opera Aida, started his career as a scenographer; here lived the “Divina” Maria CallasStarting on the 30th of June 2017 the idea of Assoguide Verona and Opera Arena Magazine (media partner) in collaboration with Fondazione Arena and Museo AMO comes to life and allows everyone interested in music to learn about the history, the myth, the wonderful stories surrounding opera in Verona.

It all started in 1732 with the opera La Fida Ninfa, by Antonio Vivaldi with libretto by Scipione Maffei and first performed for the opening of the Teatro Filarmonico, built by Francesco Galli Bibbiena, explains Christina Zuegg who is the guide on this first Opera Tour.

We walk on to the “Liston”, the wide sidewalk on the western side of Piazza Bra to talk about Maria Callas, her arrival from New York , her first days in town without a change of clothes since her suitcase had been stolen during the trip. We mention the parts of Verona she visited, her meeting with Giovanni Battista Meneghini, who became her husband, her debut in the Arena in 1947 with La Gioconda.

The guide takes out a few pictures in black & white, that tell the story of Piazza Bra, where everyone in the 1950’s and 1960’s came for a walk, strolled back and forth to be seen and where one can still see the “wing”’ of the Arena covered in bricks as a consequence of WWII. Let us keep talking about opera… for example the ritual of delivering bouquets of flowers to the singers after the performance, while they were sitting at the Tre Corone restaurant, hoping to catch a closer look of the “stars” of the time. «Zeffirelli is at home here and the soprano Cecilia Gasdia is from Verona» adds the guide as her public nods in wonderment at this world – which they know very little of – is presented to them .

Titles of different operas are mentioned: Nabucco, Aida, Rigoletto, Madama Butterfly and Tosca and each time a story, a detail is explained which allows a glimpse behind the scenes in order to understand how much work is necessary. On Piazza Bra one can also see and touch the different parts of the scenograph. Someone asks about the prices of a ticket and if young people are encouraged in any way to go to an opera ..since knowing more about it might make you curious to attend a performance.

Opera Tour in Verona is in Italian & English – every Friday at 5 pm until the 25th of August 2017. Meeting point is in front of the equestrian statue of Vittorio Emanuele II. Please remember to reserve by writing to: guidediverona@gmail.com. Information can be obtained by calling: 0039/347-4717404 (g.m.)

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Top photo: Maria Callas-Verona, Tre Corone 1953 (Photo by Richelli)