Monday 29 February 2016

Opera alive and kicking in Tuscany's capital city: La Cenerentola, Teatro Giuseppe Verdi, Florence.

On a wet afternoon in Florence last Saturday, the Teatro Giuseppe Verde held court to the playful and highly enjoyable 'La Cenerentola' (Cinderella) opera, nearly 200 years after it was first performed in Rome's Teatro Valle on 25th of January 1817. Gioachino Rossini's world famous 'dramma giocoso' was based on the short story by Jacopo Ferretti, and is an early version of the well known tale of Cinderella. Done in collaboration with the Comune of Cortona, in an effort to promote the genre and musical education, the opera co-starred some 50 children from the Cortona area alongside internationally renowned operatic actors. The show was played out for several consecutive days in the same theatre to school parties from Florence and the surrounding areas, before the main public showing on Saturday before some 1500 people. A wonderful chance for future generations to enjoy a musical genre and spectacle that is all too often seen as the preserve of older or wealthier generations. We very much hope that the Comune of Cortona will see its way to organising another opera in the coming year!

Wednesday 17 February 2016

Rugby makes it big in Italy!

Last Sunday saw the fanfare of Six Nations rugby land with full force on Rome's famous Stadio Olimpico. More used to the noise and tension of the Roma vs Lazio derby, the stadium was host to the more genteel, but no less noisy spectacle of England's XV arriving for their away fixture with the rugby Azzurri. The sheer numbers of English fans were overwhelming; in the words of my Italian friend (a Roman lawyer seeing his first international rugby match), "it seems like it isn't an away game for you English at all!" Most likely half of the 72,000 spectators were away fans, the vast majority of them sporting the white shirt with red rose. The Italians, who like the occasional beer, looked on with amusement at the consumption of the visiting fans, but were happily surprised that the mood throughout the stadium was one of congenial sportsmanship from start to finish. The Azzurri played an incredible first half, and there was much chanting from both sets of fans; "Swing low.." mingling with cries of "Italia, Italia!". Sadly the second half became something of washout for the home team, as they conceded point after point to an England side that managed to find the gaps and execute the moves when they counted most. A great side that should go places, but met its match against England on a balmy February day in The Eternal City.

Paul Cleary, Abode Srl, Luxury Italian real estate