This famous arts festival, which is one of the oldest in Italy, hosts an interesting programme with numerous star players including conductors Claudio Abbado and Daniel Barenboim and a Verdian calendar that includes Macbeth, Don Carlo and Maria Stuarda. All in all over 70 events are on offer including operas, concerts, recitals, a ballet, film, book presentations, lectures and a handful of children’s activities. Conductor and festival director Zubin Mehta inaugurates the event with a performance of Verdi’s opera Don Carlo in concert form. Opera lovers can look forward to Britten’s Rape of Lucretia conducted by Jonathan Webb and Vivaldi’s rarely performed Il Farnace conducted by Federico Maria Sardelli and staged by Marco Gandini. Verdi of course is celebrated in this anniversary year with a production of Macbeth conducted by James Conlon and directed by Graham Vick, and then with Maria Stuarda in concert form conducted by Alain Guingal. Names to look out for include those of pianist Kristian Zymerman, tenor Julian Prégardien, baritone Markus Werba. The Maggio Musicale’s dance company Maggiodanza presents an evening of dance. Teatro Comunale, tel. 05527791, www.maggiofiorentino.com.
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