“Close your eyes and let the music set you free” (written in English)
The Sferisterio theatre is an impressive open air theatre in Macerata, the capital of our province.
The building dates from 1829 was built by wealthy individuals as a sport stadium, where the old Italian ball sport “Pallone con bracciale” was practiced.
This popular ball game dates back to the 15th century. A small ball (pallone) was thrown back and forth by means of a wooden element set around the arm (bracelet).
The arena consists of a gigantic wall of 88 m long and 18 m high and is supported by columns with a double row of loges (business seats).
This arena, called Sferisterio, has found another activity and every year, during the summer months, an opera festival takes place in this beautiful setting.
My husband and I had for years the idea to attend an opera in Macerata, but thanks to one of our enterpreneurial “Belgian” friend we finally did it !!
What struck me that evening was that fact that the city Macerata was alive and filled with a good summer mood. The busy traffic was well organized by the local police, everywhere you saw well dressed people walking around (fare bella figura) and the restaurants and bars had considerably expanded their terraces to accommodate more guests.
The squares around the theatre were festively decorated that evening.
A glass of bubble before the performance was just part of nice evening.
To my great surprise, it was not a chaos to enter the arena, on the contrary, we got fluently through the entrance and get hosted to our lodge without any hassle.
The building was clearly not an Italian theatre as it used to be, but a sports arena. Despite its austere appearance and unusual shape, the acoustics were superb!
The famous Italian opera of Verdi “La Traviata” “The Fallen Women” was played that night.
The opera is based on the book “La dame aux camélias” written by Alexander Dumas.
The simple story of the opera told us of an impossible love between a young man of nobility, Alfredo and the frivolous and from tuberculosis suffering Violetta. The father of Alfredo tries to break up the relationship. The result is that Violetta is flung back between her feelings. Hence the title La Traviata !
The couple is reunited just before her death in the third act of the opera.
Thanks to the English translation, projected onto the walls, it was easier to understand the old Italian language. But the music and the singing took me completely into the story.
I really enjoyed the impressive spectacle from the beginning to the end.
The stage had an immense large mirror wall and so it reflected the actors, which gave an impressive dimension to the spectacle. Although I’m not sure, but that mirror must have had a meaning in the story. Perhaps the look back at the young life of Violetta? It triggers me to read the book of Alexander Dumas.
Personally, I thought the love play between Violetta and Alfredo and the excellent voice of Alfredo’s father unforgettable (baritone). They were real moments of emotion and I really got goose bumps from the music and powerful spectacle!
My husband and I have resolved to enjoy an Italian opera every year in this unusual but also extraordinary Sferisterio theatre.
Do you love opera?