What's On: Taormina Greek Theatre, 2016
Tue Aug 2016
Taormina’s ‘teatro greco’, or Greek theatre for those of us whose Italian could do with a little polish, is without doubt, one of the most unforgettable venues for operas, theatre and music in the world. Nowhere else boasts anything as spectacular a natural setting as overlooking the ruggedly dramatic Calabrian coast, the sunsoaked coast of Sicily and a mesmerising backdrop of Mount Etna as the sun sets overhead. Drawing performances from international artists across all arts, this summer alone saw musical powerhouse Anastacia play only two days before Robert Plant, musician, singer, and songwriter perhaps best known as the lead singer of Led Zeppelin. Next on the line up are phenomenal Italian artists including Battiato e Alice, Ezio Bossi and Jazz pianist, Stefano Bollani interspersed with Operatic performances of Tosca, West Side Story and what is set to be an extraordinary portrayal of the ballet, Romeo and Juliet by the Kòreos Ballet Company in commemoration of the 400th year of William Shakespeare’s death.
The second largest of its kind in Sicily, Taormina’s ancient theatre has been wonderfully preserved and still bears its ‘cavea’, the surrounding wall now lost at many ancient theatres of the age. For anyone with more than a little architectural interest, the structure also retains the proscenium, a usually ornate part of the stage which extends down towards the orchestra floor and the back wall of the scena which is usually entirely absent in other ruins of it’s age.
The origins of the structure are unknown as a result, no exact date can be pinpointed however it is thought, largely as a result of the brickwork, that the current theatre was built by Romans, built on the foundations of an underlying Greek design with expansion around the 2nd century.
Though many of the facts and figures are, if you’ll excuse the pun, not set it stone, one thing remains unquestionable; a night at the Taormina’s ‘teatro greco’ is absolutely unforgettable.
Take a look at what’s on offer over the summer…
09.8 Romeo and Juliet 2.0 Ballet
11.8 West Side Story
12.8 Shakespeare Opera Gala 1
13.8 West Side Story
14.8 Shakespeare Opera Gala II
17.8 Skunk Anania
19.8 Stefano Bollani
20.8 Massimo Raneri
21.8 Vinicio Capossela
22.8 Cavalleria Rusticana
25.8 Max Gazzè
26.8 Gianna Nannini
27.8 Francesco De Gregori
05.9 Bellini Opera Gala
15.9 Eros Ramazzotti
25.9 Dionysus-Il dio nato due volte