Breaking: Muti will reopen Arena di Verona

Breaking: Muti will reopen Arena di Verona


norman lebrecht

May 18, 2020

The doyen of Italian conductors has agreed to preside over two performances of Aida in the great Arena, it was announced today.

It will mark the 150th anniversary of Aida’s premiere in Cairo and it will take place next summer: 19 and 22 June, 2021.

It’s also Muti’s 80th birthday year.


The King – Roberto Tagliavini

Amneris – Anita Rachvelishvili

Aida – Sonya Yoncheva

Radames – Francesco Meli

Ramfis – Riccardo Zanellato

Amonasro – Luca Salsi

A messenger – Riccardo Rados

Priestess – Benedetta Torre



  • Edgar Self says:

    Good news. I hope there will be elephants.

  • Rob says:

    Was!? No Mahler post on the 109th anniversary of Mahler’s death!

  • Gustavo says:

    Hope it doesn’t turn out to be “Arena di Corona” like the German meat industry.

  • David H Spence says:

    This cast is not really worth a shit. There may be two or three good singers in this, but Aida could be a voice killer in the arena for several of them as well, including a couple of the same. Lost cause. Stay at home, Stay healthy. Muti’s recent Ernani from Rome looks like Ernani put on Prozac after what the 1982 La Scala production had been like. Muti had much more fire in him at that time as well and the results then were close to definitive. A more state-of-the-art dvd ought to be released of this, of the same performance issued on the Kultur label now. Furthermore, Aida is hardly any better piece than Ernani.

  • Una Cosa Rara. says:

    35 years is a long time. The last time Gasdia saw Muti was in Philly in 1985. She phoned in a Gilda in a dress she forgot iron. I would like to be there when they reunite are all this time.

  • Brian L says:

    Muti proves to be a complete hypocrite by working with such a (mostly) poor cast, demonstrating (if ever necessary) that he is not a good voice conductor, but a good orchestral and choral conductor… Yoncheva? Aida will be a cup too much for her, considering that her top is already so wobbly now, and painissimos very harsh to sing.
    Meli? One of the most uninteresting voices and bland personalities I have ever seen, he’s like a bookworm that really cannot convince anybody.
    Salsi? Not a great voice.
    I left Anita Rachvelishvili last as she is the one who will steal the show – perfect voice for Amneris, great singing actress.
    But… Much ado about nothing!

  • Edgar Self says:

    For Rob above, with apologies to Muti.

    On May 24, 1936, for the 25th anniversary of Mahler’s death, Bruno Walter and the Vienna Philharmonic played”Das Lied von der Erde” with singers Kersten Thorborg and Charles Kuhlman, Mahler’s brother-in-law Arnold Rose in the concertmaster’s chair, and VPO members who had played for Mahler. Fred Gaisberg and HMV recorded it live. I think Alma was there.

    Across the Alps, Claudia Muzio died that day at 47. Had she sung for Mahler? Probably not, but we can hear them both to mark the day.

    Almost two years later in January 1938, a few weeks before the Anschluss, HMV and Gaisberg returned to Vienna to record the VPO and Walter live in Mahler’s ninth symphony, dedicated to Walter, who had premiered both works after Mahler’s death. This time Alma and the Austrian chancellor were in the first row, Gaisberg tells us.

    They are good to hear on anniversaries, also Mahler’s own piano-rolls. and Bernstein playing piano with Fischer-Dieskau in “Um Mitternacht” from the “Rueckertlieder”.

  • fflambeau says:

    That’s quite a lineup. I’ve seen opera at Verona and it’s beautiful.

  • Madeleine Richardson says:

    I heard Sonya Yoncheva in the title role of La Norma at Covent Garden and will attend a concert performance when she will be singing in Antwerp this September.

    Really looking forward to it. She seems to be one of the foremost young divas of her time.

  • Edgar Self says:

    I’m lost. Who is Gasdia, please?