Maggio Festival Pricing & Program Changes

Alexander Pereira, the new superintendent of the Maggio theatre and Florence mayor Dario Nardella

Florence’s Maggio Musicale Festival, an annual Italian arts and opera festival in Florence, has a lot of new changes such as increased ticket prices and an extended program which will run April 23 until July 23.

According to the new superintendent, Alexander Pereira, the festival’s style, repertoire and the price of admission will undergo changes. He will start his job at the Teatro del Maggio in mid-December, after the inauguration of the season at La Scala, which he is currently directing.

“I can’t hire singers like Stoyanova, Meli and Domingo, without raising prices. It is not possible to bring people like these for €120. I have to risk the a possible decrease in audience but I promise that the takings will not be less,” said Pereira.

The public didn’t respond positively and created a Facebook page to protest about increased prices in hopes of support from the government.

“I support the decision of Superintendent Pereira because in the great European theatres tickets are much more expensive than Florence. In Salzburg the average price of tickets reaches over €400, the Scala well over €200. In Florence, ticket cost is below the Italian average. I believe that when there is a concert with special guest artists it is not wrong to charge for that level of quality, ” said mayor Dario Nardella. 

Nardella emphasized that funds are will be used to pay a decent salary to the performers and create new productions. He also noted that pricing policy will be flexible for subscribers, students, young people and the elderly. He, however did not go into specifics.

There is a positive side to the upcoming Maggio Musicale festival. The new program will start with the first performance in Florence of the only comic opera “The groom of three or the husband of none” written by Luigi Cherubini. Zubin Mehta will also come back in full swing after the departure of Fabio Luisi.  He will conduct Verdi’s “Otello” di Verdi, all the Beethoven symphonies and even the opera “Fidelio” as a concert.  

Masterpieces such as Beethoven’s symphonies,  “Otello” by Verdi, “Turandot” by Puccini and “Traviata” starring  Placido Domingo will be also presented during the festival.  The Italian premiere of  “The seven deaths of Maria Callas,” a show written and directed by Marina Abramovic, and “Un ballo in maschera” directed by Carlo Rizzi and David Livermore in co-production with the Bolshoi of Moscow will also be a part of the program. (mary filatova)

To read more in Italian, visit Florence’s La Repubblica news site.