For Opera Buffs

Do you feel like a spot of Opera while you stay in La Colllina del Sole the top choice within Villas for rent in Tuscany ?  We have discovered quite a few places which might delight you. From the little known and extremely cosy Opera in Vetriano, to the Arena in Verona.Vetriano is the smallest historical public theatre in the world at 71 sq. metres it’s first performance was in 1891. At present it is protected by FAI which stands for Fondo per l'Ambiente Italiano which is the equivalent to the National Trust of Italy [ a private not for profit organization], it dedicates itself to protect elements of Italy's physical heritage which might otherwise be lost The "teatrino" in Vetriano was built in 1890, when an engineer called Biagini donated his barn to build a theatre at the time the town had a population of 400 people. This is not unusual,  Italians have LOVED opera  for centuries and most small towns had an Opera house. Two Opera house towns near La Colina del Sole  the jewel among  Holiday villas in Lucca  are Barga and Castelnuovo both of whom have recently restored their “Teatros” and which were historically mainly used for Opera. The founding of Vetriano started when a village group of 18 people bankrolled its construction with a deposit of two lire up front and then fifty cents per month until the work was completed, Sounds like a pretty good deal to me ! and puts Glyndebourne debentures to shame. The "teatrino" became an important cultural center for the village, however after WW II, the theatre started to fall into disrepair, the Town Hall tried to do restructuring work in 1983 with little success. In 1997 the Biagini inheritors donated their share of ownership of the theatre to the FAI, and a year later, restructuring work was taken up again,  the architect was Guglielmo Mozzoni and the "teatrino was officially reopened on the 28th September 2002. To find out what Operas are being performed you will have to contact FAI directly as there is a very small number of seats available,  around 25 spectators allowed only.

As described earlier if you are staying at the beautiful La Collina del Sole the beauty among Villa rentals in Tuscany you could hop over to Castelnuovo di Garfagnana where if you are quick you can see La Traviatta by Giuseppe Verdi on Saturday 12 of May at 9pm at the Teatro  Alfieri di Castelnuovo. Or another town near La Collina del Sole is Barga which has an Opera Festival during the month of July, performances take place in the late 18th Century theatre, Teatro dei Differenti which seats 289, The main artistic aim of the festival is to perform works from the Baroque era - in addition to operas by Vivaldi and other modern operas . Just over a month ago it was announced that the production featured at the “Opera Barga Festival 2012” will be the opera “Gli equivoci nel sembiante” by Alessandro Scarlatti composed in 1679. Do not be put off if the link to the Festival Opera Barga still has the productions for 2011 up, be persistent,  call them and be patient  … you are in Italy.

If you are both wanting to see World Class Opera and Rent a villa in Tuscany during the summer then we suggest you visit Torre del Lago, or go to the Arena of Verona,  if you are visiting in October  then see  Parma for the Verdi Festival  during the month of October .

So for world class Opera Closest to La Collina del Sole and if you would like to be assured of a place go to the Opera in Torre del Lago, which specializes in operas by Puccini, who is considered by some the father of Italian Opera, lived and composed many of his masterpieces in Torre del Lago. The Puccini Festival Opera 2012 season starts on the 20th July with Tosca and ends late in August. Alongside Tosca other operas showing are La Traviata, La Boheme and Madame Butterfly. We visited  when the Opera was very much in the open air with light rain interrupting arias frequently which added a touch of difference to the experience, however the auditorium is now re-built and is much improved  and very popular so if you are interested we recommend, you book early and you get there at least 3.5 hours before the performance to soak up the atmosphere and have a meal beforehand.

Next in distance is Parma where this year the 2012 Verdi Festival starts on the 1st of October and ends on the 28th they are showing Othello and La battaglia di Legnano . The festival is held in October as this is the month in which Verdi was born, in the Duchy of Parma and Piacenza. THE most spectacular Opera experience has got to be the Arena di Verona. Verona is 4 hours drive North East from La Collina del Sole going through Parma. However the season starts in June and ends in early September so if you were hoping to catch both seasons it is impossible, you will just have to visit your favourite Holiday villas in Lucca for both seasons ! The Arena di Verona is most amazing venue for Opera as it is held in a funtioning Roman Colliseum in the centre of Verona with its yearly season one of the most impressive operas to see there is AIDA as they havemany live animals in the production including at times elephants ! Another well known site in Verona is “Juliet’s balcony” reputedly the balcony where the love struck couple Romeo and Juliet met in secret…. Romance ... Opera ... Italy it all fits perfectly together !