by Iván fischer




It is like going back to the sources. The mag­nif­i­cent Teatro Olimpi­co has been com­plet­ed around 1600 while intel­lec­tu­als of the Flo­rence Cam­er­a­ta dis­cussed how to revive ancient Greek and Roman the­ater.

For me the con­cept looks sim­i­lar to these ancient ruins.

If the build­ing looks the same, where is room for a stage set? Or do we need to focus on some­thing else? On the music, on the words, on the human dra­ma?

The fact that a won­der­ful 16th cen­tu­ry design fills the stage reduces our temp­ta­tion for Regi­ethe­ater. Here the focus of atten­tion must be clear­ly act­ing and music. We can turn the lim­i­ta­tion into a virtue: all styles of opera can be per­formed here but the back­drop will always be the same. There­fore the per­for­mance will have a dif­fer­ent feel. Where­as in opera hous­es all over the world the music is the same and the visu­al image is dif­fer­ent in each pro­duc­tion – here the visu­al image will have to be the con­stant ele­ment and the music and act­ing will have to offer the vari­ety.


This the­ater is one of the great­est trea­sures of Europe. In the last years of his life, Clau­dio Abba­do and I had many con­ver­sa­tions about Ital­ian the­aters. He was wor­ried that many beau­ti­ful build­ings were emp­ty and unused and felt a strong respon­si­bil­i­ty that these love­ly opera hous­es should again be filled with life and per­for­mances. It was this great con­duc­tor and won­der­ful col­league who turned my atten­tion to Ital­ian towns where a new opera fes­ti­val could be cre­at­ed.

Here in Vicen­za, I found a unique oppor­tu­ni­ty to real­ize this plan: an opera fes­ti­val where the sur­round­ings lead us back to the sources: to cre­ate a bal­ance of music and dra­ma with­out unnec­es­sary addi­tions to a per­for­mance.

We are offer­ing an alter­na­tive to the usu­al trends of the inter­na­tion­al opera scene and shar­ing Palladio’s mag­ic with the world.
The Teatro Olimpi­co was built for per­for­mances – we shall fill this space again with music and dra­ma.

Iván Fischer