From 20 July to 12 August in Macerata

The 2018 theme is #verdesperanza.
The main issues threaded into our next summer festival are connected with a green, clean environment and sustainability, with planting the seeds of a better future through the art of hope. Our aim is to build strong ties with other bodies and institutions working on these issues, building a dialogue on sustainability and bringing together culture, nature and the community.

All three operas on stage will recall the four natural elements: water, air, earth and fire. These timeless masterpieces will be re-interpreted in close connection with today’s world: the initiatory trials of Tamino and Pamina in Flauto Magico, along with Graham Vick‘s own reading, the earth (sand) and water (sea) of Michieletto‘s Elisir d’Amore, the liquid mirrors of the historic Traviata of the mirrors (Henning Brockhaus), along with the air, or aria, which is so intrinsically part of all operas.

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Designed by Graham Vick, one of the most popular and innovative directors of our time, Il flauto magico will mark his debut at the Sferisterio and offer the audience a performance where natural settings, full of hope, shall be in contrast to grim everyday life, marked by scarce resources and pollution. The town citizens will be involved in a workshop on stage. Among the artists who will enrich this production are well-known conductor Daniel Cohen, along with some young but well-established experts of the Mozart repertoire such as Giovanni Sala (Tamino), Valentina Mastrangelo (Pamina) and Guido Loconsolo (Papageno).

Elisir d'Amore on the seaside

For Gaetano Donizetti’s Elisir d’Amore, the chosen setting is the seaside, with cabins and inflatable toys, as designed by another outstanding and prominent director, i.e. Damiano Michieletto. His Elisir is both entertaining and thought-provoking, widely acclaimed both in Valencia, where it debuted, and throughout Europe. It is a perfect example of the opportunities for new readings of traditional operas inspired by nature and the environment. On the podium Francesco Lanzillotta, the Sferisterio Music Director, who will conduct some of today’s most appreciated belcanto artists such as John Osborn at his much-awaited debut as Nemorino, Mariangela Sicilia as Adina and Alex Esposito as Dulcamara, who will be engaged in selling elisir, i.e. magic potions, in the form of modern-day energy drinks.


One cannot think of the Sferisterio without recalling the world-famous “Traviata of the mirrors”, a production that has marked the very history of the Macerata festival. Created in 1992 by director Henning Brockhaus and set designer Josef Svoboda, this production “will never age” as critics often say. For this new staging of the famous Traviata, a female conductor will be on the podium, as in 2014 with Speranza Cappucci. This year, the expert hands of Keri-Lynn Wilson will be conducting the orchestra and some young and widely-acclaimed interpreters such as Salome Jicia and Ivan Ayon Rivas. With them also Luca Salsi, who was at the Sferisterio before and was recently praised in Andrea Chénier at Milan’s La Scala.


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