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January 1970

Following the success of Aida, Verdi decided to retire. His work had given him everything: glory, money and eternal fame. With Aida, he had the opportunity of withdrawing after the successful period of 19th century melodrama, having for too long suffered the weight of the crisis in musical theatre that struggled to find new dramaturgic and formal outlets. But his encounter with the energetic Arrigo Boito led the Maestro of Busseto back to opera. Verdi, like Boito, longed for experimental and innovative forms of poetry, and was already yearning for the emancipation of melodrama from the number opera format. The understanding between the two men emerged through Shakespeare, a writer that Verdi had loved and pursued for his entire life. The first result of the fortunate collaboration was Otello, which made its triumphant debut at the Scala in Milan on 5 February 1887. Despite his eighty-plus years, Verdi demonstrated an amazing ability for renewal, interpreting the words of Boito in an unexpected and original manner. Having abandoned the ‘safety’ of the number opera format for the open form, the composer created a shifting and continuous musical flow. With a nod to Wagner and author to Italian theatrical tradition, Verdi thus marked the peak of his exceptional creative career.

Program and cast

Director: Zubin Mehta
Director: Valerio Binasco
Scenes: Guido Fiorato
Costumes: Gianluca Falaschi
Lights: Pasquale Mari

Otello: Fabio Sartori
Desdemona: Marina Rebeka
Jago: Ludovic Tézier
Cassio: Riccardo Della Sciucca
Emilia: Caterina Piva
Roderigo: Marco Miglietta
Ludovico: Alessio Cacciamani
Montano: Francesco Milanese
A herald: Francesco Samuele Venuti

New installation
Choir, Choir of Treble Voices and Orchestra of the Maggio Musicale Fiorentino
Lorenzo Fratini: Master of the Choir and the Choir of Treble Voices

Teatro del Maggio

Teatro del Maggio is in the centre, close to the old city walls, next to the historic Stazione Leopolda. The garden that welcomes visitors is Piazzale Vittorio Gui, named after the founder of the Stabile Orchestrale Fiorentina and the Maggio Musicale Fiorentino.

By train
Santa Maria Novella is Florence's main train station.
From there you can reach the theatre with a short walk (about 10-15 minutes) or by taking the tram (a stop) or a taxi.

By car
The Opera di Firenze is just outside the ZTL area.
It is possible to park near the Parco delle Cascine or for a fee in the Porta al Prato car park (Via Elio Gabbuggiani, 7) and in the Piazza Vittorio Veneto car park.

By bus
Lines C1, C2 and D (Leopolda stop);
Lines 17 and 23A-B (stop Via delle Carra);
Lines 17B-C, 22, 23N, 23 and 57 (Pierluigi da Palestrina stop);
Lines 29, 29B, 29BA, 29BC, 29D, 30A, 30B, 30AC, 35 and 35° (stop Leopolda - Porta al Prato; Capolinea).

By tram
Line T1 (stop Porta al Prato - Parco della musica).

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