Pompeii Festival

  • Rome
  • India
  • Oct 03, 2014



One of the most prized archaeological sites in the world - the ruins of the ancient Roman city of Pompeii - will soon host opera concerts and ballets, the Italian Ministry of Culture has announced. The ‘Pompei Festival’ will open with a representation of Puccini’s La Boheme, featuring tenor Vittorio Grigolo and sopranos Amalia Avilan and Maria Carfora, followed by a ballet production of Bizet’s Carmen. Shows will be hosted in the 2nd century BC Large Theatre, which can host 5,000 people. Plans for the future include the opening to the public of the much larger Ampitheatre, where Pink Floyd’s ‘Live at Pompeii’ audience-less performance was filmed in 1971. “We want to turn it into something like the Verona Arena,” Pompeii Director General Giovanni Nistri said at a press conference. He was referring to another Roman ampitheatre in northern Italy, which is a prime location for opera shows. Conductor Alberto Veronesi, one of the sponsors of the Festival, promised to stage seven shows next year, with opera stars such as Andrea Bocelli, Placido Domingo and Roberto Alagna, as well as rock legends Paul McCartney, Roger Waters and Elton John. Attracting more visitors is part of the authorities’ strategy to turn around the fortunes of Pompeii, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, which has long suffered from building collapses, theft, vandalism and infiltration by the Camorra, the local Mafia organisation. The European Union is providing the lion’s share of a 105-million-euro (135-million-dollar) restoration project, while the Italian government brought in new management, including Nistri, a Carabinieri police general. Progress, however, has been slow.


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