Festival of the Maggio Musicale Fiorentino
From 22 April to 8 July the 85th edition of the opera festival in Florence. Discover the programme
Three operas, 8 symphonic appointments, 1 rock concert, an opera for children dedicated to Carmen (from 1 to 7 June) and an international conference on Maria Callas: the 85th Maggio Musicale Fiorentino festival presents the programme of its new edition, which will take place from 22 April to 8 July 2023. But do you know why it is called Maggio Musicale? Find out here!
INAUGURATION AND EVENTS
On Saturday 22 April, principal conductor Daniele Gatti will open with a concert dedicated to Paul Hindemith's Nobilissima Visione, the orchestral suite from the ballet of the same name inspired by Giotto's cycle of frescoes on the life of St Francis in the basilica of Santa Croce in Florence that had so struck the composer during a visit in 1937. This will be followed by the symphonic poem Ein Heldenleben (Life of a Hero) by Richard Strauss, dedicated to the idealised figure of the hero at the height of his powers and ready to overcome any obstacle, which turns out to be an autobiographical portrait of the author himself.
On Sunday 23 April, Florence will be 'invaded' by the music of Tuscan bands. The bands' performances will be held in various squares in the city centre; at sunset the bands will gather in Piazza Vittorio Gui, in front of the Teatro del Maggio, for a pyrotechnic musical finale.
Saturday 17 June will see the debut of an extraordinary concert by the Orchestra del Maggio at the Visarno Arena with one of the historic British rock bands, The Who, in the only Italian leg of their tour The Who-Hits back! Tickets for this concert are available at Firenze Rocks.
The traditional concert offered to the city by the Orchestra and Choir of the Maggio Musicale is confirmed again this year, in mid-July.
The first operatic title of the 85th Festival is Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart's Don Giovanni, which will be staged starting on 30 April with repeats on 3, 6, 9 12 May . Maestro Zubin Mehta will conduct and David Pountney will direct.
The second opera title is Verdi's Otello, revived in 2020, when it was staged and broadcast live by Rai Cultura for Rai5. Performances are scheduled on 20, 23, 26, 31 May and 3 June. The direction is by Valerio Binasco and Zubin Mehta returns on the podium.
The operatic programme of the 85th Festival closes with the highly anticipated (The Master Singers of Nuremberg) Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg by Richard Wagner, on the podium to conduct the imposing score (the opera lasts four and a half hours) Daniele Gatti, who at the Maggio anticipates his direction of the same title programmed at the Bayreuth Festival in 2025 and which he has already tackled at La Scala in 2017. Performances are on 22, 27 June, 1, 4, 7 July. The direction is by Damiano Michieletto, the sets are by Paolo Fantin, costumes by Carla Teti, lighting by Alessandro Carletti.
The choir and orchestra will be engaged in three months of programming with Zubin Mehta and Daniele Gatti, musical director of the Maggio.
The opening concert on 22 April is conducted by Daniele Gatti and opens with Paul Hindemith's Nobilissima Visione. This is followed by the symphonic poem Ein Heldenleben (Life of a Hero) by Richard Strauss.
The concert conducted by Zubin Mehta on 29 April features Gustav Mahler's grand Symphony No. 2.
The concert on 5 May conducted by Myung-Whun Chung is all about Beethoven: Symphony No. 2 and the 'Eroica' Symphony No. 3.
On 10 May Daniele Gatti will conduct the Maggio Chorus and Orchestra in a sumptuous programme of symphonies, ballets and choruses by Giuseppe Verdi.
On 19 May Andrés Orozco-Estrada conducts Elgar's Concerto for Cello and Orchestra op. 85, followed by Dvořák's Symphony No. 9 'From the New World'.
We find Beethoven again in the 25 May concert conducted by Zubin Mehta. Opening is the Concerto No. 5 'Emperor' for piano and orchestra - soloist Andrea Lucchesini - and Symphony No. 7, considered by Wagner to be 'the apotheosis of dance'.
The concert on 29 June is conducted by Philippe Jordan. It begins with Aus Italien (From Italy), a symphonic fantasy by Richard Strauss, followed by Mozart's Concert for Violin and Orchestra No. 5 in A major KV 219.
The last appointment of the Festival, conducted by Daniele Gatti, features famous compositions by Mozart and Berlioz.
Sunday 23 May The final concert of the Tuscan bands at sunset in front of the theatre (free of charge).
30 April, 3, 6, 9 12 May Mozart's Don Giovanni, conducted by Zubin Mehta
5 May Beethoven's Symphony No. 2 and Symphony No. 3 'Eroica' conducted by Myung-Whun Chung.
On 19 May, Dvořák's Symphony No. 9 'From the New World' conducted by Andrés Orozco-Estrada.
On 17 June the Orchestra del Maggio, at the Visarno Arena in concert with The Who, in the only Italian leg of their tour The Who-Hits back!
On 22, 27 June, 1, 4, 7 July Wagner's monumental opera Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg (The Master Singers of Nuremberg) conducted by Daniele Gatti
In mid-July the free concert offered to the city.