Verona Arena (Italian: Arena di
Verona [aˈrɛːna di veˈroːna;
aˈreːna]) is a Roman amphitheatre in
Piazza Bra in Verona, Italy
built in the first century. It is still in use today and is
internationally famous for the large-scale opera performances given
there. It is one of the best preserved ancient structures of its kind.
In ancient times, nearly 30,000 people was the housing capacity of the
Arena. Nowadays, for security reasons, the maximum attendance is
2 Musical theatre
3 See also
5 External links
The building itself was built in AD 30 on a site which was then beyond
the city walls. The ludi (shows and games) staged there were so famous
that spectators came from many other places, often far away, to
witness them. The amphitheatre could host more than
30,000 spectators in ancient times.
The round façade of the building was originally composed of white and
pink limestone from Valpolicella, but after a major earthquake in
1117, which almost completely destroyed the structure's outer ring,
except for the so-called "ala" (wing), the stone was quarried for
re-use in other buildings. Nevertheless, it impressed medieval
visitors to the city, one of whom considered it to have been a
labyrinth, without ingress or egress.
Ciriaco d'Ancona was filled
with admiration for the way it had been built and Giovanni Antonio
Panteo's civic panegyric De laudibus veronae, 1483, remarked that it
struck the viewer as a construction that was more than human.
Aida by Giuseppe Verdi
The Arena di
Detail of opera performance
The first interventions to recover the arena's function as a theatre
began during the Renaissance. Some operatic performances were later
mounted in the building during the 1850s, owing to its outstanding
And in 1913, operatic performances in the arena commenced in earnest
due to the zeal and initiative of the Italian opera tenor Giovanni
Zenatello and the impresario Ottone Rovato. The first 20th-century
operatic production at the arena, a staging of Giuseppe Verdi's Aida,
took place on 10 August of that year, to mark the birth of Verdi 100
years before in 1813. Musical luminaries such as
Puccini and Mascagni
were in attendance. Since then, summer seasons of opera have been
mounted continually at the arena, except in 1915–18 and 1940–45,
when Europe was convulsed in war.
In modern times, at least four productions (sometimes up to six) are
mounted each year between June and August. During the winter months,
the local opera and ballet companies perform at the L'Accademia
Modern-day travellers are advised that admission tickets to sit on the
arena's stone steps are much cheaper to buy than tickets giving access
to the padded chairs available on lower levels. Candles are
distributed to the audience and lit after sunset around the arena.
Every year over 500,000 people see productions of the popular operas
in this arena. Once capable of housing 20,000 patrons per
performance (now limited to 15,000 because of safety reasons), the
arena has featured many of world's most notable opera singers. In the
World War II
World War II era, they have included Giuseppe Di Stefano, Maria
Tito Gobbi and
Renata Tebaldi among other names. A number of
conductors have appeared there, too. The official arena shop has
historical recordings made by some of them available for sale.
The opera productions in the
Verona Arena had not used any microphones
or loudspeakers until an electronic sound reinforcement system was
installed in 2011.
In recent times, the arena has also hosted several concerts of
international rock and pop bands, among which Zucchero Fornaciari, who
holds the record of the highest number of concerts in the location, 38
from 1989 to 2017, and the highest number of concerts during the same
tour, 22 of the Black Cat World Tour, Bruce Springsteen, Elisa, Laura
Pausini, Pink Floyd, Alicia Keys, One Direction, Simple Minds, Duran
Duran, Deep Purple, The Who, Dire Straits, Mike Oldfield, Rod Stewart,
Sting, Pearl Jam, Radiohead, Peter Gabriel, Björk, Muse, Leonard
Cohen, Paul McCartney, Jamiroquai, Whitney Houston, Mumford &
Sons, Kiss, Spandau Ballet, 5 Seconds Of Summer and 2Cellos.
In 1981, 1984 and 2010 it hosted the podium and presentation of the
Giro d'Italia with thousands packing the arena to watch the prizes
being handed out.
The 2011 Bollywood film Rockstar directed by Imtiaz Ali starring
Ranbir Kapoor with music composed by Academy Award winner A.R.Rahman
opens and closes with musical concerts shot here.
On 24 September 2012
Leonard Cohen performed here as part of the First
European Leg of his "Old Ideas" World Tour.
On 25 June 2013
Paul McCartney performed at the venue as part of his
British-Irish boy band
One Direction performed on 19 May 2013 as part
of their Take Me Home Tour.
Spandau Ballet played a concert at
Verona Arena on 6 July 2015, as
part of their Soul Boys Of The Western World Tour.
On 21 September 2015 the operatic pop group
Il Volo performed in
Verona for their final date of the Grande Amore Tour. The evening was
recorded and broadcast by Rai1 and gained a share of 23%
On May 13th 2016, the Australian band 5 Seconds Of Summer performed in
Verona as part of their 2016 Sounds Live Feels Live World Tour.
On May 28th and 29th 2016, the English singer
Adele performed in
Verona as part of her
Adele Live 2016 Tour.
^ altum lambyrintum in quo nescitur ingressus et egressus, quoted in
Roberto Weiss, The
Renaissance Discovery of Classical Antiquity,
1969:117 and note 7.
^ Weiss 1969.
^ Festivals in
Opera Festival Outfitted with New Audio". AVTechnology.
February 7, 2011.
Wikimedia Commons has media related to Arena di Verona.
Verona Arena website, in English
Photographs of Arena di Verona
An article on Arena di
Verona including Photographs and videos
Live webcam on
Verona Arena English Video Introduction
Landmarks of Veneto
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Basilica of Saint Anthony of Padua
Dolomiti Bellunesi National Park
Orto botanico di Padova
Villa Capra "La Rotonda"
Walls of Montagnana
Music venues in Italy
Parco della Musica
Opera di Roma
Casa del jazz
Circolo degli Artisti
CSOA Forte Prenestino
Teatro degli Arcimboldi
Teatro Dal Verme
C.S. Leoncavallo (it)
Teatro Franco Parenti (it)
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Casa della Musica
Officina 99 (it)
Torino Palasport Olimpico
Hiroshima Mon Amour
Teatro di Verdura
Teatro Nuovo Montevergini
Teatro Santa Cecilia
Teatro Auditorium Manzoni
Land Rover Arena
Cesena: Carisport, Vidia Club
Florence: Viper Theatre
Genoa: Teatro Carlo Felice
Mantua: Teatro Bibiena
Parma: Auditorium Niccolò Paganini, Teatro Regio
Pozzuoli: Duel Beat
Rieti: Teatro Flavio Vespasiano
Roncade: New Age
Venice: La Fenice
Coordinates: 45°26′20″N 10°59′40″E / 45.43889°N
10.99444°E / 45.43889; 10.99444
ISNI: 0000 0001 2165 9603