Where to see the best Italian operas this summer
Nothing quite encapsulates the Italian spirit like a classical opera performance, making a visit to il teatro a must for any tourists looking for unforgettable cultural experiences. If you’re planning on spending your summer in Italy, take inspiration from this list of four spectacular operas, all being performed in the upcoming season.
This tragic opera was made famous by its third act aria, ‘La donna è mobile’, a cynical and somewhat ironic lament about fickle women with an instantly recognisable melody. Composed by Giuseppe Verdi, the story follows the eponymous hunchbacked jester, his beautiful daughter and a philandering Duke in a tale of confused identities, love and betrayal. This summer, you can see it in July or August at Tuscany’s Puccini Festival – to really immerse yourself in the story, book a stay in the atmospheric Villa Taffore, situated in nearby Lucca.
If you’ve always thought of opera as melodramatic tragedy, think again. Rossini’s 1816 farce is still hailed as a comic masterpiece today, telling the story of a young count who hopes to win the heart of the beautiful Rosina without revealing his true identity – or wealth. Even with a Spanish setting, this opera oozes Italian humour and style and has its own share of famed arias including ‘largo al factotum.’ You can catch Rossini’s farce all year round at the Barbarigo Minotto Palace in Venice, or from June to September at St Mark’s Anglican Church in Florence.
Boasting some of Puccini’s most famous lyrical arias, Tosca is Italian melodrama at its finest. Featuring scenes of murder, suicide, and torture, it’s certainly not for the faint hearted. The Puccini Festival in Tuscany will be staging the opera in July and August, or you can catch the Teatro Dell’Opera’s version in the first week of August. And if you plan to see the Tosca you may want to take a look at our villas for rent in tuscany.
Verdi’s immensely popular opera provoked controversy when it first hit the English stage in 1856, attracting condemnation from the Queen and church leaders. The tragic love story between a courtesan and an innocent young man upset Victorian morality, thanks to Verdi’s sympathetic portrayal of a prostitute as the central figure. Experience the drama for yourself at the Teatro Salone Margherita in Rome from now until the end of November, or at the magnificent Teatro La Fenice in Venice in September.