Macerata Opera Festival 2021 will be 100×100 Sferisterio: 100 days to go until this year’s Festival

13 April 2021

A new game dedicated to Aida, social media initiatives, online events, and much more

On April 14, we started the countdown towards Macerata Opera Festival 2021, 100×100 Sferisterio edition, which will be inaugurated on Friday 23 July with the new production of “Aida” by Giuseppe Verdi entrusted to Valentina Carrasco. On the podium: the musical director of the Macerata Opera Festival, Francesco Lanzillotta. The Festival will end on Saturday 13 August, 2021.

The number “100” will be the common thread of this edition of Macerata Opera Festival: one hundred years after the first opera staged at the Sferisterio – “Aida”, the same opera chosen in 1921 by Count Pier Alberto Conti –; the Hundred Comrades (Cento Consorti), whose initiative led to the inauguration of the Sferisterio arena, which was initially used for the game with ball and bangle; the Hundred Patrons (Cento Mecenati, winners of the 2021 “Art Bonus” contest), who support and promote the initiatives of Macerata Opera Festival; the one hundred Macerata citizens, who have been collaborating with Macerata Opera Festival for some years now.

The path towards this edition will be marked by a series of celebratory events: photos, posters, and playbills collected from the Sferisterio archive will be shared on the Macerata Opera Festival Facebook page and its website ( Additionally, an exhibition organised in collaboration with the Municipality of Macerata will trace the history of the Macerata arena, from 2020 to 1921, through the operas staged at Sferisterio and the artists who trod its stage. 

“Aida and the magic run” is a brand new game for smartphones and tablets dedicated to Aida to celebrate the centenary of the first opera staged at the Macerata arena. It’s now available on Apple Store and Google Play, in Italian and English. This “endless runner” game (in which the player character keeps moving, whilst trying to avoid obstacles and making jumps) is designed by Francesca Pasquinucci and Davide Giannoni for Imaginarium Creative.

Thanks to the pixel art of Pixel Salvaje and an aesthetic reminiscent of the 80s, this game makes the most of each pixel and is highly intuitive. The aim of the game is to help Aida find Radames and get to the end of this magical adventure. You can collect coins along throughout the levels: once 100 (the common thread of this year’s Festival) coins have been collected, you can earn an extra “life”. Of course, the game’s soundtrack is based on Verdi’s Aida.

This game has been especially created with the support of FEDORA – The European Circle of Philanthropists of Opera and Ballet, within the framework of the Creative Europe programme of the European Union.

Italian game designer Fabio Viola commented: “When tradition and innovation combine, we can create new cultural frameworks. Nowadays, games are both cultural and artistic expressions of our time and audience development tools which can support public initiatives and create immersive experiences. Aida and the magic run proves that a cultural institution can also act as a creative and technological hub”. Fabio Viola, a pioneer in exploiting the potential of games as cultural objects, is the founder of Tuomuseo (a group of international artists, game designers, game developers, sound designers, and 3D animators whose work is situated between art and games).
Follow Macerata Opera Festival’s social media channels to learn more about our initiatives: photos, memories, and thoughts collected from the Sferisterio archive, from audiences, workers, and artists who trod the Macerata stage. If you wish to share your memories, send us a message on Facebook/Instagram or use this form.
Further events dedicated to opera and theatre will accompany us over the 100 days that lead to the start of Macerata Opera Festival. More information will be added periodically.

 Imaginarium Creative Studio is a company based in Viareggio (Lucca) specialising in set design, animation, motion graphics, and visual effects for operas, theatrical dramas, pop and classical music. In 2018, Imaginarium Creative Studio was awarded the prestigious Green Award (creative sustainability award) from the Italy-America Chamber of Commerce West and the Los Angeles Italian Cultural Institute.
Macerata Opera Festival “100x100Sferisterio” will run from July 23, 2021 to August 14, 2021. A new addition to the Festival is a special preview evening dedicated to children and families. This year’s edition has three irreplaceable elements as guidelines: the health and safety of audience members, artists and workers; the sustainability and economic feasibility of the opera season; and the technical and artistic quality of the Festival. 

The 2021 edition will be inaugurated on Friday 23 July with a new production of Aida by Giuseppe Verdi entrusted to Valentina Carrasco, from Argentina, who worked with the Spanish theatrical group Fura dels Baus. On the podium: the musical director of the Macerata Opera Festival, Francesco Lanzillotta will conduct the “Orchestra Filarmonica Marchigiana” (the Festival orchestra). Cast includes Maria Teresa Leva (Aida), Luciano Ganci (Radames), Veronica Simeoni (Amneris), and Marco Caria (Amonasro). Set design by Carles Berga, costume design by Silvia Aymonino, choreography by Massimiliano Volpini, and lighting by Peter van Praet (performances on Sunday 1 August, Saturday 7 August, and Thursday 12 August). The second title will be the most representative and iconic production of the last thirty years, La traviata “of the mirrors” conceived in 1992 by Josef Svoboda and Henning Brockhaus. It will feature new costumes by Giancarlo Colis and will be premiered on Sunday 25 July (performances on Saturday 31 July, Sunday 8 August, and Friday 13 August). Choreography by Valentina Escobar, lighting by Brockhaus and Fabrizio Gobbi. The leading role will be played by the Italian soprano Claudia Pavone, who returns to Macerata after her great success with Rigoletto in 2019. Cast includes Marco Ciaponi (Alfredo) and Sergio Vitale (Giorgio Germont). On the podium: the young and talented Paolo Bortolameolli will conduct the “Orchestra Filarmonica Marchigiana”. 

As always, the Coro Lirico Marchigiano “Vincenzo Bellini”, directed by Martino Faggiani, will be the official chorus of the Festival. And on stage, of course, we will find Banda Salvadei. 

In addition to these opera productions, the Festival will be offering complementary events to celebrate its centenary:  dance performances, crossover music, talks, workshops, and Education events. More details will be released over the coming weeks.
Macerata Opera Festival is produced by Associazione Arena Sferisterio in collaboration with the Municipality of Macerata, the Macerata Province, the Italian Ministry of Culture, Regione Marche, and is supported by private institutions such as Banco Marchigiano, our Major Sponsor. A special thanks to Cento Mecenati for their support by taking advantage of the Art Bonus tax benefits.


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