It may be almost impossible to get away from the July heat in Florence (I’ve tried), but fortunately the incredible number of musical events happening in and around the city more than make up for the melted gelato, as they almost always take place in a beautiful, airy villa or piazza. It’s the perfect way to spend a lazy summer evening in Italy before heading out for a late dinner and a cold bottle of Sauvignon. If you have any other concerts or events you think I should add to the list of Things To Do in Florence: July, feel free to send me a message at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Opera di Firenze (formerly Teatro Maggio Musicale Fiorentino) is presenting two classic operas during the 2015 summer season, Rossini’s Barber of Seville and Puccini’s Madama Butterfly.
1. Rossini’s, Il barbiere di Siviglia
Il Barbiere di Siviglia is said to have been composed by Gioachino Rossini in 12 days before debuting at the Teatro Argentina di Roma, February 20, 1816. The evening was a huge fiasco, thought to have been organized by Giovanni Paisiello‘s fans who were upset to see Rossini take on a story already orchestrated by the elder teacher. The outrage only added to the incredible popularity of Rossini’s masterpiece. The opera buffa is directed by Damiano Michieletto, enfant terrible of the regie theatre.
ROSINA: Antoinette Dennefeld / Lamia Beuque / Laura Verrecchia; DON BARTOLO: Filippo Fontana / Alessio Verna; FIGARO: Julian Kim / Vittorio Prato; ALMAVIVA: Francesco Marsiglia / Filippo Adami; DON BASILIO: Luca Dall’Amico /Gabriele Sagona; BERTA: Irene Favro / Leonor Bonilla; CONDUCTOR: Alessandro D’Agostini; DIRECTOR: Damiano Michieletto.
Tickets €10 – €50. Opera di Firenze, Piazzale Vittorio Gui, 1. July 8 to September 6, 2015. Click for event info
2. Puccini’s, Madama Butterfly
Set in an idealized Japan, from the calligraphic symbolism of Ogata Korin, the history of the geisha Cio-Cio–San is staged on what is being called “a catwalk projected towards infinity”. Suzuki adorned with long white hair and representing a Japanese demon, first defends the tender Madama Butterfly before offering her the katana, wrapped in red velvet, for the harakiri.
CIO CIO SAN: Amarilli Nizza / Yasko Sato: PINKERTON: Giuseppe Gipali / Vincenzo Costanzo SHARPLESS: Dario Solari / Francesco Verna; SUZUKI: Manuela Custer / Annunziata Vestri; CONDUCTOR: Giampaolo Bisanti / Andrea Battistoni ; DIRECTOR: Fabio Ceresa.
Tickets €10 – €50. Opera di Firenze, Piazzale Vittorio Gui, 1. July 18 to September 5, 2015. Click for event info
3. Opera at Santo Stefano al Ponte, Puccini’s Most Beautiful Arias
An evening of Puccini’s most beautiful operatic arias, featuring: Angelo Fiore, tenor; Miranda Jan, soprano; Michelangelo Giaime Gagliano, piano and Martina Belloni, performance artist. €12 – €10.
Auditorium di Santo Stefano al Ponte, Via Delle Vecchie Carceri 1, Firenze. Thursday July 9, 2015, 9pm. Click for event info
4. Nepal dell’Unicef at Villa Bardini, Aspettando Madama Butterfly
Organized by the Associazione Musicale TemIn Chianti Lirica and Unicef. Maria Cristina Sogni, soprano; Leonardo Melani, tenor; Edy Bonaiuti Rossomandi, mezzosoprano; Alessandro Petruccelli, baritone; Giacomo Benedetti, piano. Free, with a donation for Nepal dell’Unicef.
Villa Bardini, Costa San Giorgio 2, Firenze. Monday July 13, 5pm. Click for event info
5. Orchestra della Toscana in the 11th century Abbey of Passignano.
This well-loved orchestra will present a concert of works by Mozart and Boccherini in the historic Badia a Passignano. It is a wonderful opportunity to leave the confines of the city and explore a bit of medieval architecture along the “strada senese del Sambuco”, the route the Florentines used to reach Siena before the 13th century. Sandra Pastrana, Soprano; Daniele Giorgi, Conductor. Program: BOCCHERINI Stabat mater, motet for soprano and string orchestra; MOZART Symphony No.36, K.425 Linz. Tickets: €15,00; €10,00 can be purchased in advance at the Teatro Verdi Box office.
Badia a Passignano, Tavarnelle Val di Pesa. Tuesday, July 14, 9.15 pm. Click for event info
6. The Most Beautiful Film Scores, music by Ennio Morricone, John Williams, Hans Zimmer
Orchestra della Toscana and quintetto di ottoni e percussioni dell’ORT present “Le più belle colonne sonore del cinema” an evening of film scores written by cinema’s greatest composers.
*Please note, this concert is being presented twice: during the Chianti Festival 2015, and during the Cortona Mix Festival:
Chianti Festival of music, theatre and dance, 2015. Tickets €10; €8. Piazza Ricasoli, Gaiole in Chianti. Sunday, July 15, 9.30 pm. Click for event info
7. Puccini’s TOSCA
Puccini’s tragic masterpiece opens the 2015 season of the Torre del Lago festival featuring a world-class cast.
TOSCA: Daniela Dessì; CAVARADOSSI Fabio Armiliato; SCARPIA: Giovanni Meoni; ANGELOTTI: Luigi Roni / Davide Procaccini; DIRECTOR: Vivien Hewitt, CONDUCTOR: Valerio Galli; l’Orchestra del Festival Puccini. Tickets should be purchased in advance. €15 – €159.
Gran Teatro all’Aperto Giacomo Puccini, via delle Torbiere 55049, Torre del Lago Puccini (Lucca). July 24 and 31, 2015. 9:15pm. Click for event info
8. Puccini’s TURANDOT
The Festival Pucciniano at the Torre del Lago continues with another masterpiece. Stop by the Museo di Puccini in Lucca, before heading to the theatre to visit the stunning costume worn by Maria Jeritza in the 1926 American debut of Turandot. TURANDOT: Giovanna Casolla; CALAF: Rudy Park; LIÙ: Alida Berti; TIMUR: Luigi Roni; DIRECTOR: Angelo Bertini; CONDUCTOR: Bruno Nicoli; Orchestra del Festival Puccini, Coro del Festival Puccini. Tickets should be purchased in advance. €15 – €159.
Gran Teatro all’Aperto Giacomo Puccini, via delle Torbiere 55049, Torre del Lago Puccini (Lucca). July 25, continues into August 2015. 9:15pm. Click for event info
9. Le Muse Heritage Musical di Montreal and Toscana Classica present Vivaldi.
A concert for voice and orchestra featuring Corina Klein, soprano; Cristina Coatu, mezzosoprano; Ana Maria Negrea, harpsichord, piano and organ; Ioana German, conductor; the orchestra consists of 6 first violins, 5 second violins, 4 violas , 4 cellos, 1 bass, and 1 basso continuo, totaling 21 elements. Program: VIVALDI: Madrigali e Missa Brevis for solo choir and orchestra; VIVALDI: Gloria Voice, Choir and Orchestra.
Auditorium di Santo Stefano al Ponte, Via Por Santa Maria – Florence. Sunday, July 26, 2015. 9pm. Click for event info
10. Rossini’s, La Cenerentola
After the success of Aida in 2013 and Carmen last year, Orchestra della Toscana presents one of the most popular fairy tales in the world, in an opera that has been inspiring audiences since 1817: Cinderella (La Cenerentola), by Gioachino Rossini (musical reduction by Carlomoreno Volpini). The production will feature local choristers alongside the orchestra and soloists. Orchestra della Toscana, Carlomoreno Volpini, conductor;Manu Lalli, Director. Featuring the Coro dei Bambini e dei Cittadini di Cortona. In collaboration with Venti Lucenti e the Teatro Lirico Sperimentale di Spoleto.
Cortona Mix Festival, Tickets can be purchased in advance, €17.
Piazza Signorelli, Cortona. Tuesday, July 28, doors 9pm, show 9:30pm. Click for event info