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Thursday, 2 February 2017

An Italian Theme For You Today ....

If you love opera, and you also love Italy, as I do, you have really missed a stunning spectacle if you haven't been to the Verona Opera Festival.  (Even if opera is not really your thing, you could not fail to be moved by the ancient setting).  

I went a few years ago with a friend, and as it was her 'special' birthday, we decided to do it in style and opted for the best seats in the house (Poltronissime), where the Italian men wear their tuxedos and the ladies wear long evening dresses. 

 

Before entering the Arena di Verona, it is a good idea to eat at one of the many restaurants in the small streets that surround the Amphitheatre. This way, you can really make the most of the charged atmosphere, whilst doing some serious people watching at the same time.  There are lots of gorgeous, designer shops for you to feast your eyes on (I particularly remember the Louis Vuitton shop, which was immediately opposite the ancient Arena).

 

Once inside the Arena, be prepared to be blown away by the sheer scale and magnificence of it all.  The Arena sits 20,000 people, from the best seats on the floor of the Arena, right up to the unreserved places on the upper (very upper!) stone galleries, where you are perched high on the topmost ramparts of the original Stadium, which was built in 30 AD.  

 

 

When one thinks of opera, the Royal Opera House at Covent Garden, the Sydney Opera House, and La Scala all spring readily to mind, but you will find that Verona combines a quite unique setting with productions and performances of a consistently  high standard. Where else could you be watching, on a hot Summer's evening, a performance of Aida, as I was, when at the start of the second act, immediately behind the stage, a huge, full moon rose majestically  above the ancient stone walls, and literally hung in the dark sky, surrounded by glittering stars, for the remainder of the  performance!

 

The Italians really do have a love and flair for the dramatic performance, and they are a very demanding audience, which seems to bring out the best in performers and musicians alike. When the audience is appreciative of a certain Aria, they will stamp their feet, cheer and clap, so that, even though the performers are in the middle of an Act, they will perform the Aria again, to even more spontaneous applause!

It really was a magical experience, and one that I will never forget. 

12 comments:

Penny Gadd said...

What a wonderful experience, Diane! I loved your description of the moon rising during the performance!

Southhamsdarling said...

Hello Penny! It's lovely to see you here today! That whole moon thing was pretty amazing, as it actually happened! I'm just sorry I couldn't find my photo of the scene! I so enjoyed the whole spectacle. It went on for hours, as, on the same evening, we saw Aida AND Verdi's Rigolleto!

Anne in Oxfordshire said...

Oh my word Diane. How absolutely fantastic. I am not really an Opera lover but I am sure I would get drawn in by this magnificent concert , especially in a place as beautiful as Verona. It is on my LIST. I have a second cousin who lives there and two wonderful friends. I love your description of the Moon rising too, Italians do it in STYLE., I ♥ anything Italian, xx

Southhamsdarling said...

Hi Anne! Like you, I love all things Italian ๐Ÿ˜Š How lovely to have a cousin and two friends who live there. When things settle down, you must try to get there!

Suzanne Prickett said...

Oh, Thisisme! How amazing was all that? From the romantic cafe to the massive and so beautiful theatre! And, for toppers, your moon came up under the open theatre-I would probably have been fighting tears at that point. I like some opera, and, this would definitely blow me away! Your photos are fantastic! A beautiful and exciting post this is. Have a wonderful weekend! ♥

Odie Langley said...

Wonderful as always with the most awesome photography. I doubt I will ever cross the "pond" to see anything like that but it is wonderful to have you sharing it with us. Hope you have had a great week and hope your weekend will be tremendous.
Hugs,
Odie

Southhamsdarling said...

Hi Suzanne. Yes, that sort of experience can certainly be quite emotional! I'm glad you enjoyed the post, my Texan friend. I did hesitate before posting it, but I always used to include travel in my blog posts, as it says in the header, so I decided to go for it. I'm enjoying seeing Eleanor for a couple of days, but she returns to Madrid again on Sunday afternoon๐Ÿ˜Ÿ. Hope all is well with you over there!

Southhamsdarling said...

Hello my friend Odie. I'm glad you enjoyed the post and looking at the photos. I hope you're keeping well over there and that Winter is being kind to you. Take care, and thank you for dropping in to see me ๐Ÿ˜Š

Bee Bee said...

Wow, this sounds like it was a very magical and special evening for you and your friend. I can only imagine the full moon rising up behind. That must have been breathtaking.

Southhamsdarling said...

Hi Bee Bee! Thanks for reading this post and, yes, it was a very special evening. One of those moments that stay with you always!

Empty Nester said...

I'm not a fan of the opera- can't stand those high soprano voices. But I'd go there! If I ever get over your way, I'm coming to get you to be my tour guide!

Southhamsdarling said...

Hi Pam- I would be honoured to be your Tour Guide! Thanks for popping over today ๐Ÿ˜Š