Trieste’s Historic Castello di San Giusto to Host Grand Open-Air Opera Revival

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by InTrieste

Against the backdrop of the Castello di San Giusto, a symbol of the city’s storied past, Trieste is set to revive an old tradition this summer: open-air opera performances. From July 10th to 13th, the courtyard of the Militia, with its sweeping views of the sea and mountains, will come alive with the sounds of Giacomo Puccini’s “Turandot.”

In what promises to be a cultural milestone, the Teatro Verdi of Trieste has pulled out all the stops for this production. The opera, a lyrical drama in three acts with a libretto by Giuseppe Adami and Renato Simoni, will be directed by Davide Garattini Raimondi, whose version of “Turandot” was well-received in the previous season at Teatro Verdi. The orchestra and chorus will be under the baton of Enrico Calesso, the theater’s permanent Musical Director.

The cast features some of opera’s most promising talents. Slovenian soprano Rebeka Lokar, known for her powerful voice, will star as the icy Princess Turandot. American tenor Clay Hilley, acclaimed for his performances in Wagnerian roles, will take on the role of Calaf. The young Italian soprano Caterina Marchesini will debut as the tragic Liù.

Trieste’s reintroduction of open-air opera performances is part of a broader initiative to enrich the city’s cultural life and attract new audiences. “Many Italian and European cities enjoy outdoor opera in historical settings, but this is a significant new development for Trieste,” said Paolo Rodda, the Artistic Director of Teatro Verdi. “We aim to bring our cultural treasures to life outside the confines of museums and strengthen the educational mission of the city’s musical institutions.”

The historic setting of Castello di San Giusto offers a unique acoustic and visual experience, enhancing the grandeur of Puccini’s opera. The production, customized for the new location, is designed to highlight the unique genius loci of the courtyard. The visual spectacle promises to be as compelling as the music, with sets and lighting by Paolo Vitale and costumes by Danilo Coppola.

“Turandot,” Puccini’s last and most choreographic opera, is a fitting choice for this open-air revival. The traditional Alfano-Toscanini ending will be included, providing a familiar conclusion to an opera that has long captivated audiences.

This ambitious production also features a trio of performers in the roles of Ping, Pong, and Pang. Baritone Marcello Rosiello, tenor Enrico Casari, and young tenor Aaron McInnis will bring color and character to these roles, having previously performed in prestigious venues such as the Arena di Verona and the Vienna State Opera.

Superintendent Giuliano Polo expressed enthusiasm for the initiative. “Each year, we embrace the city government’s invitation with increasing enthusiasm to dedicate our energies to Trieste’s cultural life for residents and tourists alike,” Polo said. “Collaborating with local institutions to bring our beloved monuments to life through music and theater is an opportunity we cannot miss.”

Performances will take place on July 10th, 12th, and 13th at 9:15 PM. Tickets range from €35 to €80, with special discounts available for younger audiences. The Teatro Verdi Box Office and the Vivaticket Network handle ticket reservations and purchases.

As Trieste prepares to host this grand spectacle, the city hopes to establish open-air opera as a cherished summer tradition, enriching its cultural landscape and attracting a diverse audience from around the world.

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