Enrico Castiglione, passionate return at Teatro Antico in Taormina With Puccini’s Manon Lescaut, great opera returns to the Pearl of the Ionian Sea.

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July 30, 2024: that is the date of the beginning of a great new season for opera at Teatro Antico in Taormina, thanks to the return of Enrico Castiglione who, for more than a decade, has been the “deus ex machina” of opera-symphonic performance in Taormina. He is a celebrated director and set designer born in Rome but of Sicilian origins. Among the best-known and most acclaimed on the international scene, he returns to Taormina this summer as artistic director of the Taormina Opera Festival and as director and set designer of the new staging of Manon Lescaut, Giacomo Puccini’s masterpiece, staged precisely on July 30, which has never been performed at Taormina’s Teatro Antico.
It is a long-awaited return for Opera lovers since Enrico Castiglione has been no less than eleven years the acclaimed director and set designer of numerous opera productions staged at the Teatro Antico in Taormina, broadcast live each year by RAI and in cinemas around the world, as well as the longest-serving artistic director of Taormina Arte. His return represents the rebirth of the opera season – which he inaugurated in 2007 with Luigi Cherubini’s Medea – with the return of exclusive stagings of great spectacular impact and international opera stars.
Manon Lescaut, Giacomo Puccini’s poignant and dramatic opera in four acts, goes on stage at Taormina’s Teatro Antico on July 30 as a special event of the Bellini Festival in co- production with the Taormina Opera Festival, celebrating the 100th anniversary of Puccini’s death with a cast of world opera stars, including soprano Martina Serafin, under the direction and with sets by Enrico Castiglione, bringing international attention back to opera at Taormina’s Teatro Antico as it has not since 2017. But if Manon Lescaut represents the highlight of the Taormina summer, no less eagerly awaited are the two opera-symphony concerts also offered at the Teatro Antico in Taormina by the Bellini Festival in co-production with the Taormina Opera Festival: the Concerto Bellini Opera Gala, dedicated entirely to the music of Vincenzo Bellini for the September 20, and the Concerto Puccini Opera Gala for the September 27, both with the Bellini Festival Symphony Chorus and Orchestra.
The Bellini Opera Gala Concert returns to Taormina on September 20 to inaugurate the programming of the Bellini Festival, the Bellini Festival of the city of Catania, which this year reaches its sixteenth consecutive edition, takes place every year starting on September 23 (the day of the anniversary of Bellini’s death) and concludes on November 3, 2024 (the day of the anniversary of Bellini’s birth) with the traditional Concert at the Cathedral of Catania, where the great composer rests.

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