Growing numbers for the Arena Opera Festival
A long applause for the maestro, Franco Zeffirelli. This is the tribute that the Artistic Director of the Fondazione Arena, Cecilia Gasdia, paid to the late director on 15 June during the press conference on the results of the Arena’s 2019 season. A season marked by growth, as the Mayor of Verona and President of the Foundation, Federico Sboarina, reiterated: “This season is the result of the project I had in mind for our Foundation when I became mayor and which I shared with institutions and city partners, who believed in us.
The call was also answered last year by Cattolica Assicurazioni, which became a Member of the Foundation. A commitment reaffirmed by the company’s Chairman, Paolo Bedoni, who is attending this conference alongside other members of the Steering Committee – Giuseppe Riello, Flavio Piva and Gabriele Maestrelli. The General Director of the Foundation, Gianfranco De Cesaris, highlighted the figures from the Arena’s 97th festival. “There were 426,649 guests over 51 evenings, an 8.56% increase compared to the previous year”, said De Cesaris. “The takings, amounting to € 26,674,000, were also positive with an 11.13% increases compared to 2018, with an average of € 523,000 per evening”.
Success in the name of quality, as noted by Artistic Director Gasdia: “In addition to the world-renowned artists who have taken to the stage this summer, each show had an extremely high-quality cast, which was most certainly appreciated by an audience passionate and knowledgeable about opera. We led with a bang, with the first show broadcast worldwide in memory of Zeffirelli, but the entire season saw record numbers, including the final show, Aida, which was watched by 11,000 viewers. These results are our reward for the work carried out and fill us with enthusiasm for our goals for the coming years, especially the 100th edition of the festival in 2022”. The objective also announced by Mayor Sboarina, is to make Verona the “opera capital”. “No other place has an Arena like ours”, he said. “Opera is a gem among gems, not simply because it employs hundreds of families, but because it produces a culture that makes us unique in the world, with an economic outcome that benefits the entire region. The challenge now awaits us to make this stability structural, and improve the quality of the performances even more”.