28 July-13 Aug 2006. This excellent opera season takes place in the fascinating setting provided by the Sferisterio, a long, oval shaped arena that was originally built as a playground for the game of the ball and the bangle. The very peculiar shape of the building made up of a playing field, several premises to be used for various purposes, a sustaining wall, boxes and balconies was carefully designed to encompass all the needs of the sports that were popular in the first half of the 18th century, but in fact provides a challenging setting for stage directors who have turned it into a temple for opera with some legendary productions. The programme this year includes Die Zauberflote, Aida and Turandot.
The opera season of the Sferisterio di Macerata arena will commence at the end of July with three performances of Mozarts Il Flauto Magico (28 July-11 August) and five performances of both Verdis Aida (29 July-13 August) and Puccinis Turandot (30 July-12 August). Pier Luigi Pizzi is now the artistic director of the festival and will direct all performances, with the exception of Verdis opera, which will be directed by Massimo Gasparon. They will be similar in their interpretation (Gasparon is a pupil of Pizzi) and, apart from their essentiality and elegance, will also highlight the esoteric nature that, in the opinion of the directors, these works have in common. At the Teatro Rossi there will be two rich appointments for the most refined tastes, who will unfortunately have to be content with performances in concert form: Thamos, re dEgitto by Mozart (28 July) and Turandot by Busoni (30 July). Paolo di Nicola