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Sferisterio di Macerata

Sferisterio di Macerata

Sferisterio Macerata Opera Festival

The Sferisterio of Macerata as the heading on the façade recalls, the Sferisterio was built between 1820 and 1829 upon the will of the so-called Cento Consorti (one hundred comrades), a group of wealthy citizens of Macerata. First designed by Salvatore Innocenzi, the Sferisterio was then fully built according to a project by the young architect Ireneo Aleandri. Opened in 1829, it was meant to host primarily the game of the ball and bangle, but its popularity in the mid XIXth century made it suitable –and frequently used– for a host of public events, from local celebrations to tournaments, from parades to political and sports events, from horse circus to bull-hunting games. After a short series of theatre performances, held towards the end of the XIXth century, at the beginning of the XXth century it appeared quite clearly that the unique space of the Sferisterio, its harmonious blend of neoclassical columns, the tall, straight and long wall, and the large central area, could make just the perfect venue for opera performances.

After a pause due to the Second World War, in 1967 opera performances were revived and soon took full swing. This was due to the great efforts made by Carlo Perucci, widely appreciated and much beloved artistic director for the following 28 years. A host of new productions, a new lighting system and the opening of the three arches on the wide background wall, paved the way for the extremely successful programmes of the years to follow, up until today’s Macerata Opera Festival. With unique, natural acoustics, some 2,500 seats, 104 boxes and an incredibly wide stage area, the Sferisterio opera seasons have been attracting all kinds of audiences, even the most sophisticated opera lovers, since 1967.
The programmes have been featuring innovative and unique productions, along with prestigious singers; all of this within a huge but also somewhat intimate venue, which ensures perfect visibility and great acoustics. Amongst the world-famous artists who have walked the Sferisterio stage are Mario Del Monaco, Luciano Pavarotti, Katia Ricciarelli, Renato Bruson, Montserrat Caballé, and Placido Domingo. Some of the productions first designed for the Sferisterio have made the history of opera, such as the Traviata of the Mirrors, created in 1992 by Josef Svoboda, and the unforgettable Bohème by Ken Russell, first staged in 1984.

Sferisterio Macerata Opera Festival's website:
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