Summer opera in Verona’s Amphitheatre

verona areaverona area2The Verona Arena in Piazza Bra in the historic center of Verona is internationally famous for it’s large-scale opera performances.  It is one of the best preserved ancient structures of its kind.  The Roman amphitheatre dates to AD 30 and could host 30,000 spectators to view staged games and shows in ancient times.

The round façade of the building was originally composed of white and pink limestone from Valpolicella, but after a major earthquake in 1117, which almost completely destroyed the structure’s outer ring, except for the so-called “ala”, the stone was quarried for re-use in other buildings. The first interventions to recover the arena’s function as a theatre began during the Renaissance.  Some operatic performances were later mounted in the building during the 1850s, owing to its outstanding acoustics. Nowadays, at least four productions (sometimes up to six) are mounted each year between June and August. In recent times, the arena has also hosted several concerts of international rock and pop bands

The opera productions in the Verona Arena had not used any microphones or loudspeakers until an electronic sound reinforcement system was installed in 2011 – imagine that !

 

 

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