2018-02-28 / Front Page

On the Road in Italy: Vivaldi Opera in Venice

By Catherine Tsounis

San Marco Chamber Orchestra.
San Marco Chamber Orchestra. "An opera begins long before the curtain goes up and edhs long after it has come down. It starts in my imagination, it becomes my life and it stays part of my life long after I’ve left the opera house.” – Maria Callas.

Venice, the jewel of Northern Italy to many, where everyone wants to be, hosted an opera entitled “Vivaldi and Opera” by the San Marco Chamber Orchestra in the Ateneo di San Basso in San Marco square during our visit. Popular pieces from Verdi’s “La Traviata”, Bizet’s “Carmen” and Puccini’s “Turandot” excited our imagination by the exceptional performances. The Program had pieces from the following operas: Vivaldi “Arsilda Regina Di Ponti”, “Giustino; Handel “Serse”; Donizetti “L’Elisir D’Amore” and “Linda Di Chamounix”; Verdi “La Traviata” and “Rigoletto”; Bizet “Carmen” and Puccini “Turandot”.
“Located in the world-famous Piazza San Marco, the Ateneo di San Basso is one of the oldest I was impressed with the Byzantine icon on the wall.
I was impressed with the Byzantine icon on the wall. churches of Venice. Reconstructed after fires in 1105 and 1661, the current Baroque structure was designed by Baldassarre Longhena. Today, the attractive interior is a popular venue for classical music concerts.1 I was impressed with the Byzantine icon on the wall. Venice and Ravenna are a footstep into the past of the Byzantine Empire.

We took a musical journey with the San Marco Chamber Orchestra in a historic setting. The concerts by the brilliant musicians from the San Marco Chamber Orchestra are dedicated to the genius and unique compositions of the violinist and conductor Antonio Vivaldi, who was born in Venice in 1678. Antonio Vivaldi was born in Venice whose musical achievements gave pride to his homeland.

The son of a violinist at St. Mark's Cathedral, Vivaldi took holy orders in 1703, but due to poor health celebrated mass for only a brief period. He went on to teach at a girl's orphanage, the Ospedale della Pietà, and also traveled widely, dying in Vienna in 1741. The ensemble lovingly presents the most beautiful and best-known works of Antonio Vivaldi, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, Giuseppe Verdi and many other famous Italian opera composers, in an almost authentic 17th century atmosphere in the prestigious church of Ateneo die San Basso on St. Mark’s Square.2

San Marco Square at night.San Marco Square at night.The price was 28 euros (about $30). Several persons in front of us were talking Greek about the performance. An evening to remember walking to Ateneo di San Basso concert Hall and the San Marco Square. The San Marco Chamber Orchestra has attempted to recreate its concerts in an atmosphere like the Pieta Music hall in which Vivaldi composed. PBS should bring this Orchestra and singers to television for Americans. For more information, visit info@virtuosidivenezia and www.virtuosidivenezia.com.

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