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Inclusive activities at the Macerata Opera Festival

Expanding and diversifying opera audience through accessibility: we have been leading the way since 2009.
All opera performances are audio described for blind or partially sighted people, with Italian and English pre-recorded introductory descriptions also available online. Our audio descriptions include details provided by the artists themselves in order to highlight the style of and the ‘philosophy’ behind the production.
Fully guided tactile tours: costumes, wardrobe, make-up; set and props; instruments and orchestra.
Sign-language-interpreted tours; Personal Hearing Assistant; live surtitles in Italian and English for all opera performances.

The InclusivOpera project is both unique and excellent in the field of accessibility. Coordinated by Prof. Elena Di Giovanni since its onset, it was awarded the national prize Inclusione 3.0 in 2018.


Coordinator: Elena Di Giovanni
Audio descriptions and tours: Francesca Raffi
Accessibility services and reception: Chiara Pazzelli


Unione Italiana Ciechi e Ipovedenti (Macerata, Italy); Museo Statale Tattile Omero (Ancona, Italy); Ente Nazionale Sordi (Macerata, Italy); Università degli Studi di Macerata (Macerata, Italy).


Elena Di Giovanni
Participatory accessibility: Creating audio description with blind and non-blind children
Journal of Audiovisual Translation

Elena Di Giovanni
Audio description for live performances and audience participation
JoSTrans – The Journal of Specialised Translation



In 2021, new inclusive tours guided by both blind/partially sighted and deaf and hard of hearing teenagers will explore Macerata’s art and discover the operas on stage, with all of our senses! Audio descriptions as well as Italian and English surtitles are also available for all the operas of the festival. All tours are free, while tickets for the performances are available at a reduced rate.


In 2020, new fully guided tours are offered to both blind and deaf patrons to explore Macerata’s art and discover the operas on stage. Italian and English subtitles are also available for all the operas of the Festival!


A new tour is offered to deaf people to discover the sounds and noises associated with the preparation of one of the operas on stage and a tactile tour is guided by two blind girls.


Accessibility workshops for blind and deaf children; audio descriptions are streamed in real-time on users’ smartphones and deaf and hard-of-hearing audience members can optimise intelligibility and sound quality thanks to the new Sennheiser’s MobileConnect technology (Sennheiser Streaming Technologies).


Surtitles and AD are in Italian and English. Moreover, in partnership with Ente Nazionale Sordi Macerata (Macerata Association for Deaf people), a sign-language-interpreted tour guides the hearing impaired through the theatre, the stage, and its backstage areas.


A new worthy addition: the translated English version of the surtitles and the AD will be supplied for all opera performances. It’s also possible to listen previously the AD on our website.


Partnership with Museo Tattile Statale Omero (Ancona)


Touch tours take place before the audio described performance for all visitors, in particular for the blind and visually impaired. Visitors can touch various specially-made models and other tactile objects in order to gain a special awareness of the theatre, its history, and the operas which will be performed.


The Macerata Opera Festival launches an ambitious and unique accessibility project with self-funded AD for 2 operas.
Surtitles are projected onto the big wall of the Arena Sferisterio, during all opera performances so that not only people with a hearing impairment but also the whole audience can easily follow the librettos.

Audience expansion


About us

Il progetto accessibilità è assolutamente fantastico!

L’idea dell’App è utile

L’app MobileConnect è stata una piacevole sorpresa

Continuate così!!!!!

Esperienza interessante anche per gli accompagnatori…. non si vede solo con gli occhi

Siete molto bravi!!!!

Idea dell’App MobileConnect molto apprezzata e spero diventerà parte integrante dell’opera allo Sferisterio anche negli anni futuri

Blind or partially sighted people

  • AD
  • Touch tours

Hearing impaired people

  • Operas
  • Sign-language-interpreted tour


  • Marche Region (Macerata, Fermo e Ancona)
  • Other regions (Campania, Emilia-Romagna, Liguria, Puglia, Toscana, Veneto)