Theatres, museums, shopping… January in town
It is by now an established tradition, even though its history is less than 20 years old. We are talking about the New Year’s Concert with which Venice joyfully begins the new year, not only in town but ideally throughout Italy, seeing the option of broadcasting the event on television, ever since its origins.
Conceived in 2004 as a signal of La Fenice Theatre’s rebirth after the devastating fire in 1996, today it has become one of the most sought-after events of the year so much so that in order to meet the increasingly pressing demand, the management of the historic theatre has had to schedule three performances of the concert before 1stJanuary.
This year’s protagonists, along with La Fenice Theatre Orchestra and Chorus, will be soprano Federica Lombardi and tenor Freddie De Tommaso, and together with British conductor Daniel Harding, featuring a unique show that will not fail to offer grand emotions, not only to classical music lovers, but also to all those who will be able to take part in this extraordinary occasion.
The New Year Concert will not be the only opportunity to experience the charm of this theatre. During this month its prestigious billboard (which also includes the Malibran Theatre) will offer other tempting dates: those with Ton Koopman, conductor of the Amsterdam Baroque Orchestra & Choir and Georg Petrou, conductor of the Greek Radio National Symphony Orchestra, both included in the Symphonic Season, and those scheduled for the Opera and Ballet Season: Frédéric Chopin’s Dame aux Camélias interpreted by John Neumeier and performed by the Hamburg Ballet, and the Satyricon, an opera taken from Petronius’s novel by well-known Venetian composer Bruno Maderna.
For La Fenice we may also recall the possibility of a tour which, in addition to discovering the splendid venues decorated with stucco and gilded friezes, will allow visitors to learn the history of the theatre, among stories and secrets about its protagonists, up to a permanent exhibition dedicated to Maria Callas and her years of activity in Venice.
Entrance tickets to visit the museum can be purchased online on the site www.venezia.land
In town, the step from music to prose is only a few hundred metres. The protagonist is now the Carlo Goldoni Resident Theatre, another symbol of the city that has recently celebrated 400 years of history. For this month, we may point out two important rendez-vous.
The first, starring philosopher Massimo Cacciari, Valzer di parole (“Waltz of Words”), offers a journey into the Austrian theatre of the early 1900s starting from three authors who went through the Great War and almost foreshadowed the catastrophe marked later by Fascism and Nazism; the second is The Son, an opera taken from a trilogy by Florian Zeller from which the eponymous film was made, starring Oscar-winner Anthony Hopkins. The famous actor Cesare Bocci is among its protagonists.
In this case also, for those who may enjoy it, an audio-guided visit will allow the discovery of rooms and spaces where actors and protagonists of Venetian life have crossed paths for centuries.
From theatres to museums. The winter season also invites the discovery of what we may call real artistic treasures: museums. Venice has all sorts of them, but above all they are not set in simple buildings but in palaces famous for their history and architecture. And it is precisely here that we very often find the true essence of this town. Just think of the halls at the Doge’s Palace with the extraordinary paintings recounting the great events of the past; the Correr Museum with its art collections recounting the civilization and history of the Serene Republic, the splendid rooms dedicated to Canova and those dedicated to the Empress Elizabeth, “Sissi”; the Accademia Galleries which bring together the greatest collection of Venetian paintings from the fourteenth century up to the end of the Republic; the International Art Museum of Ca’ Pesaro with its extraordinary collection of works from the nineteenth and twentieth centuries; the Peggy Guggenheim Collection with its Modern Art masterpieces housed in the residenceonce inhabited by the great American patron, who loved art and Venice. And furthermore, the fascinating Natural HistoryMuseum dedicated to Giancarlo Ligabue at the Fondaco dei Turchi, along the Grand Canal; the Querini Stampalia Art Gallery, a patrician residence with original furnishings and art collections.
The museums are accompanied by the treasures preserved both by the Schools or Guilds, such as Saint Roch, of The Carmini and Saint John the Evangelist, and by the Churches, such as those dedicated to Saint Mark, Saints John and Paul and Sainted Glorious Mary of the Friars, which are not to be missed.
In addition to theatres, museums, concerts in churches and palaces and to the art exhibitions that are listed below, the great opportunity of this period is present for many, thanks to the seasonal sales: shopping.
In this case too, the town offers excellence, not only in what is offered by top “brands”, but also due to a more sought-after and increasingly difficult to find product: that of artisans and designers in the field of artefacts such as glass, fabric, gold and furnishings in which Venice… has made history.