Opera in Italy to relaunch with open-air shows in Rome park

Teatro dell'Opera di Roma to present Verdi's Rigoletto in Villa Borghese.

Rome's Opera House is planning to stage an outdoor production of Verdi's Rigoletto at a central Rome park in July, in what is seen as a tentative come-back for opera in Italy, a sector left reeling by the coronavirus pandemic.

The news, reported by Italian newspaper Corriere della Sera, would see the opera house move temporarily to Piazza di Siena, a venue best known for hosting show jumping championships, in Villa Borghese park.

Under the new social distancing regulations, a maximum of 1,000 people would be able to attend Rigoletto which will be conducted by Daniele Gatti. The public will be assigned seats and nobody will be standing.

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Other productions in the planning include a performance of The Barber of Seville, and the Pink Floyd Ballet by Roland Petit, although the opera house's summer programme has yet to be finalised.

The move to Villa Borghese will also represent a departure from the historic summer venue at the Baths of Caracalla whose audience space is "incompatible" with the new rules, according to Teatro dell'Opera general manager Carlo Fuortes.

Describing the initiative as an "extraordinary project", Rome mayor Virginia Raggi said that the capital can be "a model and give hope to other cities in Italy. Relaunching culture means relaunching Italy.”

Fuortes said the move to Villa Borghese recognises people’s right to enjoy culture, stating that the opera house must be "guided by resilience, adapting to difficulties by transforming them into opportunities."

Photo Yasuko Kageyama / Teatro dell'Opera di Roma - Rigoletto

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Address Piazza Beniamino Gigli, 00184 Roma RM, Italy

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Opera in Italy to relaunch with open-air shows in Rome park

Piazza Beniamino Gigli, 00184 Roma RM, Italy