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Fondazione Arena di Verona
The Arena in Verona has always been considered the largest opera theatre in the world: its surface area is three times the size of a normal stage inside an enclosed theatre, extending 47 by 28 meters, excluding the wings, with a seating capacity that can reach up to 14,000 spectators. The area has a potential of hosting 700,000 spectators per season.
Half of the theatre-going public is foreign, and it is precisely for this reason that the Arena holds another first, that of being the most international opera theatre, for both artists and public.
In 2013 the 100th anniversary of the first performance of Aida in the Arena was celebrated. The Verona Opera Festival came into being on the 10th of August 1913 (to celebrate the first centenary of Giuseppe Verdi’s birth) on the wishes of the tenor Giovanni Zenatello and the famous orchestra conductor, Tullio Serafin. Before then, in the 19th century, the Arena was already considered the ideal place for theatrical and musical works, but with Aida in 1913, from the production by the Veronese architect Ettore Fagiuoli, took off the idea of a structured festival, recurring yearly.