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Opera in Rome

Opera in Rome

Verdi, Puccini, Donizetti, Rossini

Whether you are an “appassionato” or a first timer, Italy is the best place in the world to enjoy “la musica lirica”. Along with La Scala in Milan, the Arena in Verona, the Baths of Caracalla in Rome are the most suggestive venues for the drama to unfold. The open air opera season in these 3rd century Roman baths, runs from late June to the end of September and is part of the extremely rich Estate Romana (Roman Summer) programme. Still, if you choose to visit the city at other times of year the Rome Teatro della Opera Company puts on major productions inside Rome Opera House.

Teatro della Opera is a wonderful opportunity to get dressed up but do not feel obliged to, especially if you are up in the gallery. Should you be looking for a more informal environment and repertoire then there are several productions of famous works with a limited company and orchestra. The lead opera singers working in these productions do the same show week in week out so you can be guaranteed a faultless rendition from these aspiring stars. Another informal option is Teatro della Opera’s “Toccata e fuga”, which is free of charge. In Summer the company brings Rome’s most suggestive piazzas alight with famous duets and popular Italian classics.

Some recommendations

Teatro della Opera / Rome Opera House

Programme: Eight different full productions of major operas staged between Nov and May. Face Value ticket prices 17 – 150 Euro.
Add: Teatro dell’Opera, piazza Beniamino Gigli 1, 00184 Rome.
Tel: +390648160255 (closed Mondays) • Web: www.operaroma.it

Le Terme di Caricalla / Baths of Caracalla

Programme: Three different full productions of major operas staged between June and Sept. Face Value ticket prices 45 – 150 Euro.
Add: Via delle Terme di Caracalla 52, 00153 Rome.
Tel: +390648160255 (closed Mondays) • Web: www.operaroma.it

Chiesa di San Paula fouri le Mure / The Church of St. Paul’s within the Walls

Programme: Long-term productions of La Traviata by Verdi and “Famous Opera Arias”. Tickets can be bought in cash on the door with a reservation by phone or on line.  Face value ticket prices 25 – 35 Euro.
Add: Via Napoli 58, 00184 Rome.
Tel: +39064826296 • Web: www.classictic.com

Teatro Flaiano / Flaiano Theatre

Programme: Long-term miniature productions of Tosca and Madame Butterfly both by Puccini. Tickets 45 – 60 Euro
Add: Via Santo Stefano del Cacco 15, 00186 Rome.
Tel: +390669922077 •  Web: www.piccolalirica.com

Toccata e fuga

Programme: Open air opera medley of famous Italian songs.

The cost and the experience

Buying tickets on line is something of a jungle but have a surf all the same. However, in my experience the only way to get face value is to go in person to the ticket office so send your tour guide on an errand if you want the best deal. Drinks tend to be expensive inside the opera so in open air venues smuggle in your own chilled bottle of something fizzy.

Tip - Read the plot before you go Cool

Teatro della Opera has a subtitle machine but the subtitles are in Italian so buy or download a copy of the words in English for your chosen performance. A quick read through the plot on Wikipedia also goes a long way to keeping abreast of the story line. If you are a novice to opera one thing you can be sure of is that it always ends badly for the leading lady.


Written by...

Stephen content writer Rome

By Stephen Wheeler Licensed Tourism translator