Verona Opera is performed in a magnificent setting where six spectacular operas will be presented, including world famous Aida, Carmen, Tosca, and Romeo and Juliet. The Teatro Romano Verona, named Arena di Verona, is an ancient Roman amphitheater located in the city's Piazza Bra, and a smaller version of the grand Colosseum in Rome. It is one of the best preserved Roman arenas in existence today. Opera performances have been held in the ancient theater since 1913, when the inaugural performance of Aida was presented.
Impresario Ottone Rovato, along with Giovanni Zenatello, a famous tenor in the opera world, were devoted to transforming the building, once wrought with noise, anguish and blood, into a respected opera theater where Verona Opera seating would welcome opera lovers from all walks of life. Verdi’s Aida was chosen and introduced on August 10th to commemorate Verdi’s birth 100 years earlier. With the exception of periods of European war, the Verona Opera Festival has been held inside the amphitheater each year since 1913, hosting scores of tremendous performances. Today, taking in an opera is one of the top things to do in Italy.
Constructed in AD 30, the site was originally outside the city limits of Verona. Today it is centrally located close to many loacl attractions, including Casa di Giulietta, the purported house of Juliet Capulet. The amphitheater hosted games and shows that became incredibly famous; so much so, they drew spectators from miles beyond Verona. During ancient times, the amphitheater could hold more than 25,000 people at one time (today that number is 15,000). The building’s façade is of pink and white limestone imported from Valpolicella. The outer ring was mostly destroyed in 1117, after a massive earthquake struck with much of the material re-used in several other area buildings.
The Verona Opera dress code is something to think about for those with tickets. Dressing “smart/casual” is the best way to go when heading to Verona Opera 2023, though there is no official Verona Opera dress code. There are several things to consider, one being that the tiered stone Verona Opera seating devours hot sun all day making it somewhat uncomfortable. With most shows beginning after 9:00 pm, opera goers should also consider that temperatures cool quite a bit during the few hours of the performance; by late into the night it can be chilly. Tiered seating welcomes most families along with their children, grandparents, and others into a casual setting. The unofficial Verona Opera dress code for anyone sitting on the ground level is fairly elegant; many guests appear in very classy attire.
More than half a million people pour into Arena di Verona each summer between June and August, most of whom sit in general admission seats. Verona Opera seating is available in two distinct sections on the ground level or floor (the priciest), seating on the side, and seating on the original stone tiers. The first two sections require reservations while the general admission seating is first come, first served. Recommended arrival time is about 7:30 pm for the best of general admission Verona Opera seating. If sitting in the stone area, many bring along a cushion for comfort. Cushions can also be rented inside the arena.
The location itself, inside the large Piazza Bra, is a popular tourist destination. The piazza, the largest in Northern Italy east of Milan, is filled with bars and dining spots, many of which will be filled both before and after the Verona Opera 2023 performances. Verona hotels must be booked well in advance during the summer. There are also several major attractions to explore including Juliet’s House and Piazza delle Erbe as well as excellent, eclectic shopping.
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