Music, theatre, fashion weeks, trade fairs. The top events of 2021
2021 will be a truly special year. Culture, art, theatre and music, fashion and design, food and wine - which for most of 2020 have suffered from social distancing as the first rule of protection against the pandemic - are the drivers of the long-awaited recovery, with early dates and programmes beginning as soon as January and February. We wanted to pay tribute to everyone working courageously and tirelessly in the planning of these, so we bring you the most important events in Italy’s great cities of culture for the first part of the new year.
The city of fashion kicks off the new year’s calendar of top events with the A/W 2021-22 pret à porter womenswear shows at Milan Fashion Week from 23 February to 1 March. On stage at Teatro Manzoni from 9 to 20 March is Ferzan Ozpetek’s play Mine vaganti, with an excellent ensemble cast led by Francesco Pannofino and Paola Minaccioni. At the Teatro Nazionale, 22 March is the date for The Beatles Live Again: the story of the Fab Four featuring Europe’s best-known tribute band The Beatbox; a multimedia show packed with memories and timeless songs. The legendary experimental US rock band Swans will be at the Alcatraz on 21 March. British singer-songwriter James Blunt’s tour is rescheduled to 23 March at the Mediolanum Forum. Kraftwerk are eagerly awaited on 7 and 8 April at the Teatro degli Arcimboldi. 9 May sees Paul Weller at the Alcatraz; on 26 May it’s Eric Clapton at the Mediolanum Forum. Meanwhile, System of a Down and Korn will perform at I-Days in the Rho Expo Area on 10 June, and Vasco Rossi’s rescheduled Vasco Non Stop Live Festival 2021 comes to the same stage on 13 June. 19 to 22 June are the dates for Milan Men’s Fashion Week. The live concert from Radiohead frontman Thom Yorke has been rescheduled to 8 July at the Lorenzini District. Finally, the 2021 edition of the Salone del Mobile will take place from 5 to 10 September, postponed from its usual dates in April.
Tickets for Alexander Lonquich’s live concert on 9 and 10 January at the Fenice are still available. As both conductor and piano soloist, Lonquich will perform Mozart’s KV482 concerto for piano and orchestra and Schubert’s Great Symphony no. 9, D944. Also onstage at La Fenice from 22 to 26 January is a wonderful version of Handel’s Rinaldo conducted by Federico Maria Sardelli with direction, scenery and costumes by Pier Luigi Pizzi. Lastly, from 10 to 16 February there’s Rossini’s La Cenerentola, conducted by Giancarlo Andretta and directed by Fabio Ceresa. And now to pop/rock, with 14 shows by Zucchero at the Verona Arena from 28 April to 8 May, Kraftwerk on 10 April at the Gran Teatro Geox in Padua and The Offspring + Lagwagon on 23 June at the Sherwood Festival in Padua.
Men’s fashion begins the season of events in Florence with the 99th edition of Pitti Immagine Uomo from 21 to 23 February. Next up is the 15th Taste food and wine, which moves from the Stazione Leopolda to Fortezza del Basso from 10 to 12 April. Also announced are the dates for the 83rd Festival del Maggio Musicale Fiorentino, from 24 April to 30 July. The programme will open on 24 April with Adriana Lecouvreur by Francesco Cilea (subsequent performances 27 and 30 April, 3 and 6 May) directed by Jürgen Flimm. On 10 May the Maggio podium will be graced by Riccardo Muti conducting the Wiener Philarmoniker in an extraordinary concert organised thanks to backing from Rolex.
There’s another date with British singer-songwriter Paul Weller, who performs at Tuscany Hall on 4 May. Gianna Nannini’s concert at the Artemio Franchi Stadium is pushed back to 29 May. Pitti Immagine Uomo no. 100 will take place from 15 to 18 June and is already promising to be unmissable. On 28 June (further performances on 30 June, 3 and 8 July) Teatro della Pergola will host a homage to Baroque music with Monteverdi’s Return of Ulysses to his Homeland. The Red Hot Chili Peppers on 16 June and Vasco Rossi on 18 June are the highlights of Firenze Rocks at the Visarno Arena from 16 to 19 June. Ben Harper & The Innocent Criminals play the Lucca Summer Festival on 18 July, while the 15th edition of Teatro del Silenzio in Lajatico features Il Mistero della Bellezza on 22 and 24 July.
From 17 to 21 March, Teatro Brancaccio stages La Divina Commedia Opera Musical by Gianmario Pagano and Andrea Ortis, with music by Marco Frisina, narration by Giancarlo Giannini and direction by Andrea Ortis. Still at the Brancaccio, 10 May sees the arrival of Abbadream – The Ultimate Abba Tribute Show, an opportunity to listen again to the hits of a band that made pop history in a spectacular show with numerous costume changes, light effects, video and choreography. Paul Weller is in concert on 5 May at the Auditorium Parco della Musica /Sala Santa Cecilia for Rock in Roma, an event which also presents The Chemical Brothers on 24 June at the Ippodromo delle Capannelle and Devendra Banhart on 14 July at the Roman Theatre in Ostia Antica.