Should This Historic Opera Venue Get a Roof?

Friday, August 01, 2014 - 04:00 PM

Arena di Verona in Verona, Italy Arena di Verona in Verona, Italy (Emi Cristea/Shutterstock.com)

The Arena of Verona, one of the most iconic outdoor opera venues in the world, could be getting a roof, if the Italian city's mayor gets his way.

The nearly 2,000-year-old Roman coliseum, which attracts crowds every summer for grandiose productions of works by Verdi, Rossini, Puccini and others, has one particular shortcoming: there's no cover to shield audiences when weather turns foul.

Determined to bring an end to this unpredictability, mayor Flavio Tosi says that he's planning to launch an international competition to draw suggestions for how the massive architectural task should be accomplished.

Some private sponsors have already expressed their intention to fund a cover, which could cost at least ten million euros.

Arena di Verona
Arena di Verona
"If a solution could be found that was compatible with the monument and the kind of performance that takes place there, we would be certain in our ability to put them on," said Tosi, a member of the right-wing Northern League, in an interview with the newspaper Arena.

Northern Italy has been pounded this summer by rain and thunderstorms. About 25 opera performances have been soaked, and same-day tickets have been sold at a 50 percent discount in some cases, according to Verona Sera.

Dario Franceschini, Italy's culture minister, was quoted on Wednesday as saying he wanted to look into the issue further.

What do you think? Would a modern roof be appropriate on the Arena? Leave your comments below:

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Comments [8]

Kenneth Bennett Lane, Lake Hiawatha, NJ from Richard Wagner Music Drama Institute, Boonton, NJ

Now if only we could devise a WEATHER DOME shield scientifically calculated to heat dry the snows, hale and rain before they would discomfiture outdoors attendees at sports and music venues just like the MISSILE DOMES used in the mideast to destroy incoming missiles, that would REALLY be a miracle. Saints Alive !!!

Aug. 08 2014 06:05 PM
Katie S from Washington, DC

I think it is a great idea. I like the idea of a retractable roof. Richard Rogers, the Italian-born British architect might be a good choice.

Aug. 07 2014 04:56 PM
Kenneth Bennett Lane, Lake Hiawatha, NJ from Richard Wagner Music Drama Institute, Boonton, NJ

ThE COLOSSEUM IN ROME ORIGINALLY HAD A COVER, SO SHOULD VERONA'S EQUALLY ANCIENT VENUE FOR SPECTACLES, BE "COVERED." I HAVE ATTENDED PERFORMANCES THERE AND BEEN IMPRESSED BY THE ADDED GLAMOUR OF THE SETTING TO THE MARVELOUS PRODUCTIONS THERE. SOME OF THE SINGERS MIGHT ALSO LEARN HOW TO COVER THEIR BRIDGE PITCHES, INSTEAD OF SQUALLING THEM LIKE FISH SELLERS AT THE MARKET.

Aug. 06 2014 08:17 PM
Linas Naujokaitis from San Diego

The Colosseo in Rome had sunshades as part of the original construction. So there is a precedent. Lots of talented architects in Italy. I would think anyone but Calatrava....keep the design in Italy, possibly even a Veronese designer. A "roof" would surely help to prolong the life of this fabulous structure.

Aug. 05 2014 07:33 PM
Bob H from North Babylon, New York

YES. On 9 July 2014, I had a ticket to see "Turandot". It was rather expensive even by MET standards. Due to the rain that kept coming and going, I only got to see only two-thirds of the opera. I heard the next day that it was canceled after a long delay. It should also be noted that the venue was sparsely filled. How about a retractable cover?

Aug. 03 2014 05:48 PM
helen silverstein

Yes...if designed by a MAJOR architect like Calatrava......

Aug. 03 2014 01:33 PM
glsigalos

I think it's a grand idea and a perfect solution to bring 21st century performances to this venerable arena.

Aug. 02 2014 08:58 AM
Paolo Anderlini from Italia

I'm agree to look for a innovative pourpose, that could be designed also for the monument preservation.
Paolo

Aug. 02 2014 05:06 AM

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