The 75th season of Florence's historic opera company promises to be the best yet. Held in collaboration with the Pergola Theatre, the Festival del Maggio Musicale Fiorentino's program this year is dedicated to Amerigo Vespucci, marking the 500th anniversary of the Italian explorer's death (See TF's website focused on the Year of Amerigo Vespucci, www.vespucci2012.com). Between May 4 and June 7, over 90 events-operas, ballets, concerts, exhibitions, conferences, open rehearsals and workshops-explore the theme of voyage.
The festival opens with Waiting for the Maggio at the Aula Magna of the University of Florence on May 4 at 11am, and includes a keynote address by Alberto Arbasino and Miguel Rojas Mix. The Maggio's open rehearsals include opportunities to talk with the performers about their experiences and the music they are performing. Open rehearsals are scheduled for several shows, including The Four Temperaments and Verklarte Nacht (May 12 at 4pm, Pergola Theatre) and La Metamorfosi (May 17 at 5pm, Goldoni Theatre).
Every Saturday during the festival there will be events for children, providing a great way for kids to learn more about music, dance, and peformance. The 11 events include scenery workshops, and workshops with the Maggio chorus, the orchestra, and the ballet company.
In addition to 11 concerts held at various locations throughout the city, every Wednesday at 6pm, the Maggio will present free films at Florence's Odeon cinema: Orson Welles's The Trial (May 9), Sally Potter's The Tango Lesson (May 16), Terrence Malick's The New World (May 30), and Steven Soderbergh's Kafka (June 6).
This year, the Maggio is introducing a variety of new services. In addition to radio broadcasts on Rai Radio 3 and social media campaigns via Facebook and Twitter, the Maggio has revamped its website, providing more detailed information in both Italian and English.
Any three people traveling to the same zone of the city from a Maggio performances can, starting this year, take a taxi for only 5 euro per person. The ATAF bus system will provide additional Nottetempo routes.
The new Print@home service allows ticket buyers to print tickets at home, avoiding long lines at the ticket office. Discounted tickets for several events are availble for those under 30 who sign up for the Maggio Card, as well as for those who purchase the Maggio Pass.
For more information on tickets and events, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call the ticket office of the Teatro del Maggio Musicale Fiorentino (055/2779350), from Tuesday to Friday, 10am-4:30pm, and Saturday, 9am-1pm. Find schedules and more at www.maggiofiorentino.com.
Maggio 2012 in numbers
90 events in 5 weeks
200 guest performers and speakers
42 collaborating institutions
23 venues throughout Florence
2 Italian and 6 world premieres