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Not to be missed in February : February is a very Italian month at the Teatro dell'Opera di Roma. The last performances of d´I Masnadieri, Verdi's rare opera, as La Traviata, can be applauded. There is no longer need to present the masterpiece that has been much talked about thanks to the staging of filmmaker Sofia Coppola. With a superb French Dance Night, the other event is Bellini's Sonnambula with Jessica Pratt, the new star and a conductrice in the pit, the famous Speranza Scappucci.

 

OVERVIEW OF THE 2017-2018 SEASON OF THE Teatro dell'Opera di Roma

The 2017-2018 season of the superb Teatro dell'Opera of Rome is fabulously rich. The hall has established itself as a must in an Italy already richly endowed with legendary operas. The gold decorations and the red velvet compensate the facade without any particular charm and when the curtain rises on the big titles, one is simply submerged in the music.

 

The selected titles proudly represent the Italian repertoire. Who would complain about Puccini's Tosca or Verdi's La Traviata? Two beautiful portraits of women sacrificed on the altar of love where the beautiful sopranos Virginia Tola, Svetlana Kasyan or Monica Zanettin in Tosca and Maria Grazia Schiavo or Valentina Varriale in Traviata share the headlines. The staging of Tosca is entrusted to the talented Alessandro Talevi, that of La Traviata (a re-run) has already been much talked about since it was commended to the director of Marie Antoinette and Virgin Suicide, the famous director Sofia Coppola. Another of the highlights of the season is the production of Puccini's La Bohème. Àlex Ollé from La Fura dels Baus is responsible for staging a dream set with Anita Hartig, Victoria Yeo, Roberta Mantegna, Olga Kulchynska, Valentina Naforniţa, Giorgio Berrugi and Ivan Ayon-Rivas.

 

The most curious music lovers have already booked their tickets to the Rome Opera to attend a performance of I Masnadieri, Verdi's youth opera that is not so often played. The opera will be conducted under the wise management of an excellent but discreet director, Roberto Abbado. On the side of bel canto, fans are now familiar with the beautiful Australian soprano Jessica Pratt, a real star in Italy. There is no doubt that the Roman public will welcome her warmly in her interpretation of La Sonnambula, Bellini's great masterpiece. The opera will be led by Speranza Scappucci, the conductor everyone is talking about. Other operas that are deeply rooted in the hearts of the Italians, Cavalleria Rusticana of Mascagni and Pagliacci of Leoncavallo are the well known masterpieces of verism. At the head of a beautiful cast is the great star Anita Rachvelishvili. An unmissable production of the season. Pay attention as well to the Damnation of Faust Berlioz conducted by Daniele Gatti. But for us, the show not to be missed during the 2017-2018 season of Teatro dell'Opera in Rome is undoubtedly Billy Budd of Britten. The staging of Deborah Warner is amazing and most importantly, Jacques Imbrailo is the outstanding Billy Budd of his generation. The baritone is the perfect incarnation of the hero that one must absolutely see in this production, so close to the ideal.

 

In Rome, let´s not forget the dance because the Corpo di Ballo del Teatro dell'Opera also offers a splendid season with great choreographers (Serge Lifar, Roland Petit), headlines like the classic Don Quixote in a choreography by Laurent Hilaire's or The Nutcracker, a must. Beautiful, more contemporary evenings are also remarkable with the big names of William Forsythe, Jirí Kylián or Kenneth MacMillan. An exemplary season to reserve urgently!

 

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Informations sur Teatro dell'Opera

Even though there is proof that an opéra performance took place in Rome as early as 1606, (Agazzari's EUMELIO), the Pope's ban on théâtre and opéra performances was for many years an obstacle in the local development of opéra. In spite of the fact that a public opéra théâtre was inaugurated in 1697, no major composer was linked with the papal city until the opening of the présent opéra house in 1880. Opéra in Rome was far from inexistent during the nineteenth century: Rossini came to première his BARBER OF SEVILLE at the Teatro Argentina in 1816, and Verdi four of his works, including II TROVATORE (1853) and UN BALLO IN MASCHERA (1859) at the Teatro Apollo.

 

But in 1877, the city that had in the meantime become the capital of Italy was still without a modem opéra house. Domenico Costanzi, who had made a fortune in the hôtel business, had the good idea of bequeathing his name to the Eternal City by funding the construction of an opéra house, which was opened three years later. Roman operatic life was thus revived, and, from 1880 to 1926, the Teatro Costanzi hosted no less than 46 world premières and 120 Roman premières. Thèse premières, ail signed by Italian composers, included triumphant performances of Mascagni's CAVALLERIA RUSTICANA and Puccini's TOSCA. Furthermore, it was here that the Roman public discovered PARSIFAL in 1884, while Toscanini made his Roman début in the house's pit, conducting... CARMEN. In 1926. the théâtre fell into the hands of the fascist state, which renovated and modernized the building. When the house reopened two years later, rebaptized "Teatro Reale dell'Opera", the tradition of "national"premières was of course pursued, and one could hear composers such as Respighi and Malipiero, as weil as Stravinsky, Richard Strauss, and even Berg's WOZZECK in 1942. In 1937, the now famous open-air summer concerts were inaugurated in the Caracalla thermal baths.

 

In 1946, the institution adopted the name of Teatro dell'Opera and interna-tionalized its répertoire, while remaining faithful to contemporary music, as works by composers such as Britten, Honegger, Hindemith, Janâcek, and Henze were performed. It was also on this stage that Renata Tebaldi was applauded in 1948, and Maria Callas (in the rôle of Kundry in PARSIFAL!) in 1949. In spite offinancial difficulties, the house's artistic directors have, during these last few décades, deftly managed to keep alive the creativity and the luster of the Roman stage.