Our InclusivOpera project turns 16 years old!

Expanding and diversifyng 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. We also provide fully guided multisensory tours, 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.

The project has also been included in the “European REACH (RE-designing Access to Cultural Heritage) Best Practice programme”, for promoting a wider participation in the preservation, (re-)use and management of European culture.

A PhD program co-funded by the Arena Sferisterio Association entitled: “Inclusive Theaters: Analysis of Inclusion Strategies and Practices of Performing Arts Organizations for Communities and Territories” was also launched in 2021.

The average audience is now around 400 participants, from all over Italy, aged between 5 and 85.




Ente Nazionale Sordi (Macerata, Italy); Museo Statale Tattile Omero (Ancona, Italy); Unione Italiana Ciechi e Ipovedenti (Sezione di Macerata);  Università degli Studi di Macerata (Macerata, Italy); University of Pittsburgh (USA)


Dall’accessibilità all’inclusione | Elena Di Giovanni | TEDxMacerata

Di Giovanni, E., Raffi, F., 2022, Inclusive theatre-making: translation, accessibility and beyond Special Issue di INTRALINEA ON LINE TRANSLATION JOURNAL; 1; Bologna, Dipartimento di Interpretazione e Traduzione, Università di Bologna; pp. 1 – 5 (ISSN: 1827-000X)

Di Giovanni, E., Raffi, F., 2022 “Inclusive Theatres as Boosters of Well-being: Concepts and practices.” in JOURNAL OF AUDIOVISUAL TRANSLATION; 1; London, ESIST; pp. 166 – 185 (ISSN: 2617-9148).

Di Giovanni, E., Luchetti, M., Raffi, F., Turrini, A., 2022. “Exploring how accessible cultural practices impact on community development: The case of InclusivOpera at the Macerata Opera Festival in Italy.” in LOCAL DEVELOPMENT & SOCIETY; 1; Oxford, Routledge Taylor & Francis; pp. 1 – 15 (ISSN: 2688-3600).

Di Giovanni, Elena, 2021. “Oltre l’accessibilità. I teatri inclusivi.” in LINGUE E LINGUAGGI; 43; Lecce, Università del Salento, Coordinamento SIBA; pp. 15 – 31 (ISSN: 2239-0359).

Di Giovanni, E., Raffi, F., 2021. “Intersemiotic transcreation: the life and afterlife of Giuseppe Verdi’s Macbeth.” in OPEN JOURNAL OF HUMANITIES; 7; Mantova, Universitas Studiorum; pp. 133 – 155 (ISSN: 2612-6966).

Raffi, F., 2021 “La valutazione dell’esperienza del pubblico. Accessibilità e studi di ricezione al Macerata Opera Festival.” in LINGUE E LINGUAGGI; 43; Lecce, Università del Salento; pp. 33 – 64 (ISSN: 2239-0367)

Di Giovanni, Elena, 2018. “Audio Description for Live Performances and Audience Participation.” in THE JOURNAL OF SPECIALISED TRANSLATION; 29; Londra, London: London Metropolitan University; pp. 189 – 211 (ISSN: 1740-357X).

DI Giovanni, Elena, 2018. “Participatory accessibility: Creating audio description with blind and non-blind children.” in JOURNAL OF AUDIOVISUAL TRANSLATION; 1; London, ESIST; pp. 155 – 169 (ISSN: 2617-9148).

What is an inclusive festival?
Find out more!


On the occasion of the 60th season of the Macerata Opera Festival many appointments with InclusivOpera!


Our 2023 inclusive programme is underway, with a number of events and activities for all ages and (dis)abilities.


Find out more about our 2022 inclusive programme!


The “Inclusive Guides” project, aimed at young people with visual and hearing sensory impairment, is now official. Our inclusive tours become ‘multisensory’ experiences to further explore the many ways in which opera interacts with all our senses. What’s more, young people and adults with mild cognitive impairment can now participate in a series of workshops and inclusive activities to enjoy the opera experience.


Our inclusive tours now include Musei Civici di Palazzo Buonaccorsi thanks to the “Ti racconto un’opera inclusiva” program.


A new inclusive tour is offered to deaf and hard of hearing audiences to experience the sounds and noises related to an opera performance. Our accessible tours are now “inclusive and participatory” tours, fully guided by blind and visually impaired, deaf and hard of hearing young people.


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. Our partnerships with “Ente Nazionale Sordi – Sezione di Macerata” and “Unione Italiana Ciechi e Ipovedenti – Sezione di Macerata” is now official. 


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

Our audience: 2020-2022

Number of Participants

  • 2020
  • 2021
  • 2022


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