-by Simone Zanetti
an you imagine spending a romantic warm summer night with your sweetheart listening to a beautiful performance of classical music like opera, operetta or musical? If you have not experienced this yet I tell you to do it at least once. Maybe you want to surprise your special one with tickets to an open air performance this year.
It is an unbelievable feeling to sit under the open sky not confined to an opera house or concert hall. Just visualize sitting under a blanket of stars, the moon is shining and you feel a cool breeze on your face and you cuddle with your sweetheart while taking in beautiful sounds – that is what it is like to be part of an open air performance at the Arena in Verona, Italy, the Festivals in Bregenz at Lake Constance or at Moerbisch (Neusiedeler Lake) in Austria.
The Arena in Verona is especially well known to lovers of Italian operas. If you want to experience Verdi, Rossini, Puccini and the like visit the opera in Italy and you will feel the spirit of Italian love and romance that are portrayed in these operas. Just envision when Rodolfo sings his famous love song to Mimi “This little hand is frozen” — I guarantee your heart will melt. The moment when Calaf sings the famed song “Nessun dorma” or the breathtaking “Triumph March” in Verdi’s Aida that, too, will make an evening at the Verona arena unforgettable.
Booking and Program: http://www.italianticketoffice.it/Arena-di-Verona-en.html
Simone’s travel TIP: Verona and Opera are such a hit- it’s nearly unbeatable what this stage and Arena can offer as show. To be beaten only by the most famous love story in the world: Romeo and Juliette. Let’s first go to the famous balcony – did she really stand up there? She was 13 when Romeo fell in love with her. Shakespeare was at his highest level with this scenery.
Romeo: Ah! fairest dawn arise.
The window opens, Juliet comes out upon the balcony. Romeo conceals himself. From her soliloquy he learns that, although he is a Montague, she loves him. He discloses his presence. The interchange of pledges is exquisite. Lest the sweetness of so much love music become too cloying, the librettists interrupt it with an episode.
Romeo and Juliet was based on real lovers who lived in Verona, Italy and who died for each other in the year 1303. At that time the Capulets and Montagues were among the inhabitants of Verona. You will have lost a very intimate and wonderful love story if you never listen or look at the drama of Romeo and Juliette: it’s pure passion.
Verona is not well enough known to tourists – it’s a romantic wonderful city- best seen at night by shining lights. Bridges and places kind of like in Florence- and ?last but not least Lake Como, near to it (many VIPs, like George Clooney, have a Villa there) the surrounding of the lake has a morbid wonderful Italian flair.
Verona is worth traveling to even if you are not an Opera fan: old European culture will catch you here immediately. Get on the way — and do me a favour, go to the Opera and also to a Romeo and Juliette play… it will significantly change your sensual thinking.
The Bregenz setting is quite different than the Arena in Verona because the stage is floating on Lake Constance. Seebühne (or floating stage), with its 7,000 seat open-air amphitheatre, produces opera or musical productions on the stage that generally tend to come from the popular operatic repertoire, but often are extravagantly original and innovative productions frequently using the waters of the lake as an extension of the stage. Recent productions have included Aida by Giuseppe Verdi in 2009 & 2010; Tosca by Giacomo Puccini in 2007–2008; Il trovatore by Giuseppe Verdi in 2005–2006; West Side Story by Leonard Bernstein in 2003-2004; La bohème by Giacomo Puccini in 2001–2002, and Ein Maskenball (Un ballo in maschera) by Giuseppe Verdi in 1999–2000.
To witness the music of someone such as Giuseppe Verdi on this stage will bring the great tragic works of the famous composer to a once in a lifetime experience. You will be surprised how this stage on Lake Constance will captivate you. During the day you can enjoy also the surrounding area and visit neighboring Germany and Switzerland. Day trips to Zuerich, Konstanz and the island of Mainau is a must for travelers who plan to visit the Bregenz Festival.
Programs and Booking: http://bregenzerfestspiele.com/
Simone’s travel TIP: The stage is situated at Lake Constance, called the biggest sea in Europe. A romantic landscape, especially the German side with all its small villages and wine places.
The flower island Mainau, owned by a Swedish crown relative, is a first class flower paradise by day. Before visiting the floating Opera in the evening, it will give you the right allure to get open for the nightly opera. All the cities like Constance, Lindau, Meersburg, Rohrschach — all the cities around the Lake, whether Swiss or German, have a special ambiance and also fall and winter will give you unusual impressions. Ferries and fishers fulfill you some special wishes on the lake; sailing will make you satisfied till noon. Storms have their special dramatic events, as you mostly can see around the shores the warning blinking of all the lighthouses. Fog is an even more dramatic event.
Lake Constance is worth a travel. Specially the food and wine at the German side are exquisite. Wine and fish and German tarts – and all traditional German dishes will spoil your tongue. In the backyard of the Swiss side you have the fruit garden of Switzerland. The paradise of Eve’s apples and pears and wine.
For lovers of operettas there is only one place to go to — it is the Moerbisch Seefestspiele. In the charming part of Austria the city created Operetta as it was supposed to be. Great singers of today perform during the festival. The stage is on Lake Neusiedler and no matter what production they perform you will fall in love with the music, singing and dancing. I recommend that after the performance you can stop at a nearby wine cellar to celebrate a wonderful time together with your sweetheart.
Programs and Bookings: http://www.seefestspiele-moerbisch.at/
Simone’s travel TIP: Mörbisch is easy to describe — cosiness and serenity is its label. Endless sunny days, rolling hills, a wide sky, storks roosting on top of chimneys, roofs thatched with straw. This is in the Burgenland, bordering Hungary, and it is Hungarian influenced. It has wide horizons, the famous Lake Neusiedler, horses, the Puszta (prairie) — what more does your heart desire? Paprika-spiced and as already mentioned there are some real good wine cellars where you can drink some glasses of excellent red or some chilled white wine and talk with friends. Small museums and great concerts, full activity while golfing or sailing, regenerate your energies while hiking through the wonderful countryside with its mild climate. You will have to make some travels in the surrounding area or get on the lake. I recommend you this travel including the evening amusements: Operettas, luxury entertainment on the lake.
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