20 July-10 Aug 2006. Founded in 1975, this world class music festival has always aimed to unearth and produce forgotten titles and rare executions, but it has also provided a launchpad for emerging musicians and singers The programme in 2006 showcases three operas I Giuochi dAgrigento by Paisiello, Idomeneo by Mozart, and Semiramide by Giacomo Meyerbeer which take place in the Palazzo Ducale and five concerts, which are scattered throughout the city and its surroundings.

The Festival della Valle dItria in Martina Franca has reached its 32nd edition. Since 1975 it has hosted singers who have then gone on to become famous and who have given memorable performances of unusual works and forgotten masterpieces. This year Mozarts Idomeneo will be performed (23 and 25 July) in a rare interpretation that Richard Strauss realised in 1930, when he inserted a sour and dissonant page of his own composition called Interludio in do minore. The festival is also presenting two first-time performances in modern times: I giuochi dAgrigento by Giovannni Paisiello (20 and 22 July) which inaugurated La Fenice di Venezia in 1792 and Semiramide riconosciuta by Giacomo Meyerbeer (5 and 7 Aug) written in 1819 and performed in Turin. It is thought that the latter went on to influence the more famous Semiramide by Rossini, which was written four years later. Paolo di Nicola

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Address For information tel. 0804805100.

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Festival della Valle dItria.

For information tel. 0804805100.