| MAGGIO MUSICALE FIORENTINO
Music has always had a fundamental role in the artistic life of Florence, where, at the end of the sixteenth century, the very first operas were performed, following the theory and practice of the Camerata dei Bardi.
Today the Maggio Musicale Fiorentino, the centre of musical life in Florence, is based at Teatro Comunale, and produces the Maggio Musicale Festival. as well as its annual concert, opera and ballet seasons.
The Teatro Comunale originated in the Florentine Politeama, which was designed in 1862 by Telemaco Bonaiuti, an open arena over which the present structure was built. It seats 2003 people and is made up of a large stalls section, and two wide semi-circular galleries giving the impression of an amphitheatre.
At the Comunale all the great conductors - Vittorio Gui, Bruno Walter, Wilhelm Furtwängler, Dimitri Mitropoulos, Zubin Mehta, von Karajan and Muti - and singers, as the 'divine' Maria Callas - have alternated, while composers such as Pietro Mascagni and Richard Strauss, Paul Hindemith and Bela Bartòk, Igor Stravinsky and Luigi Dallapiccola, Luigi Nono, Karlheinz Stockhausen and Luciano Berio have interpreted their own music.
The Maggio Musicale Fiorentino was founded in 1933 by Vittorio Gui; it is the oldest Italian music festival and, on an international level, one of the most important.
Since it began the Maggio Festival has attracted world attention for the basic cultural choices which it envisages and has always maintained: in the first place the problems related to the visual element in opera, for which the greatest theatrical and film producers of our times have been called upon.
Secondly there has been constant curiosity for the music of the twentieth century, from the first avant garde compositions to more recent experiences, through the active participation of the composers themselves.
Neither can we forget the research into certain periods in the history of music, thanks to the 'theme' festivals, for example the Rossini Maggio in '52, and those of '64, '94 and '95, dedicated respectively to Expressionism, the early twentieth century and early Romanticism.
If the festival takes up the months of May and June, the activity of the theatre goes on all year round, with its opera season, its concerts and ballets, and the summer concerts in the magnificent and suggestive framework of the Boboli Gardens: a constant and varied offer of musical occasions for an international, exacting and qualified audience.
Copyright Teatro Maggio Musicale Fiorentino Fondazione
Copyright fotografico Archivio Teatro del Maggio Musicale Fiorentino
Gianluca Moggi New Press Photo Firenze