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PDX OPERAbeat | A Company Blog is the blog for all things Portland Opera, featuring a variety of guest contributors who will provide insider's tidbits on all we do to celebrate the beauty and breadth of opera.
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Un Viaggo Operatico in Italia- Atto VI (An Operatic Journey in Italy- Act VI)

July 8-10

Three opera performances at the Arena di Verona were the grand finale to our trip. The arena dates back to 30 AD, when it was used for spectacles and sporting events. It seats approximately 15,000 spectators:

Italy 6.1 Image

Here's a group photo in front of the orchestra pit. The set for The Barber of Seville is on stage. I assume the enormous roses are a reference to Rosina (the lead female character), and they were quite beautiful under stage light:

Italy 6.2 Image

Enjoying a glass of prosecco with George and Lee Anne Carter, as the crowd starts to file in:

Italy 6.3 Image

The word "spectator" is apt in this arena - one feels less like a member of a typical opera audience, and more like a spectator and participant in some enormous, grand event. Attending The Barber of Seville on Friday night made this abundantly clear. The overture featured at least 100 dancers in 18th century dress moving about the stage in a series of tableaus and choreographed sequences.

Throughout the performance, an endless number of dancers, servants, mimes, gymnasts, soldiers, etc, appeared in the large areas stage right and left - dancing, miming, posing, etc, while the story of the Barber of Seville happened to be taking place center stage. Here's a photo from the performance:

Italy 6.4 Image