In cen­tral Vene­to, where many rivers run, lies the Province of Vicen­za, an ever-chang­ing land­scape of moun­tains, val­leys, water cours­es, art cities, and food and wine itin­er­aries offer­ing evoca­tive land­scapes, as well as many an oppor­tu­ni­ty for a rather pleas­ant vacation.

In the north lies the plateau known as the Altopi­ano di Asi­a­go and its eight munic­i­pal­i­ties: dressed in a palette of col­ors, the emer­ald val­leys and mead­ows scat­tered with cycla­mens, prim­ros­es, woodruffs, and lilies of the val­ley mix with the dark green of thick woods, soft­ened when the white snow cov­ers the entire panorama.

Below the plateau lies the Bas­sano zone, dom­i­nat­ed by Monte Grap­pa; it is the per­fect des­ti­na­tion for those charmed by the tran­quil­iz­ing scenery of gen­tly-rolling hills, places of remem­brance, tra­di­tions and old trades.

Even fur­ther down are the wide val­leys of Alto Vicenti­no, with their remark­able nat­ur­al, his­toric and artis­tic landscapes.
The Bas­so Vicenti­no area, a strip of land in the far south of the province, appears as a geo­met­ri­cal mosa­ic cov­ered by rows of vine­yards, olive trees and fruit trees. The mighty rocks of the Beri­ci Hills hov­er overhead.

Vicen­za, sit­u­at­ed in the plain’s cen­ter, is a fine exem­plar of all the art, his­to­ry, nature and culi­nary tra­di­tions the region has to offer offer.

Con­tes­sa Car­oli­na Valmarana







It is one of the artis­tic won­ders of Vicen­za. Dur­ing the Renais­sance, in fact, a the­atre was not a build­ing in itself, as it would lat­er become, but a tem­po­rary arrange­ment of an out­side space or an exist­ing build­ing; in Vicen­za, these spaces were court­yards of palaces or the hall of the Palaz­zo del­la Ragione.

acidadebrancaIn 1580, at the age of 72, Pal­la­dio was com­mis­sioned a per­ma­nent the­atre by the Accad­e­mia Olimpi­ca, the cul­tur­al group he belonged to him­self. The design is clear­ly inspired by the Roman the­atres, as described by Vit­ru­vius: an ellip­ti­cal ter­raced audi­to­ri­um, framed by a colon­nade, with a frieze topped by stat­ues. In front of it is the rec­tan­gu­lar stage and a majes­tic prosce­ni­um with two orders of archi­tec­ture, opened by three arcades and divid­ed by half-columns inside which we find aedicules and nich­es with stat­ues and pan­els with bas-reliefs.
Crit­ics call the work “man­ner­is­tic” because of the intense light and shade effect, which is also inten­si­fied by a series of oth­er optic solu­tions the archi­tect used thanks to his expe­ri­ence: the pro­gres­sive dimin­ish­ing of the fronts with height is visu­al­ly com­pen­sat­ed with the pro­trud­ing stat­ues; he plays with over­hangs and nich­es to increase the sense of depth.

Palladio’s design was made a few months before his death and he would not see the result; his son Sil­la over­saw the works and hand­ed the the­atre over to the town in 1583. The first per­for­mance on Car­ni­val 1585 was mem­o­rable; its sub­ject was a Greek tragedy, Oedi­pus the King by Sopho­cles, and the stage design repro­duces the sev­en streets of the city of Thebes, which can be seen in the five open­ings of the prosce­ni­um through a clever game of per­spec­tives. The cre­ator of this lit­tle won­der inside the won­der is Vin­cen­zo Scamozzi. The effect was so impress­ing, the wood­en struc­tures became a sta­ble part of the the­atre. Scamozzi was also asked to cre­ate acces­so­ry spaces: the “Odeo”, the hall where the meet­ings of the Accad­e­mia took place, and the “Antiodeo”, dec­o­rat­ed with mono­chrome pan­els by the fine Vicen­za painter Francesco Maffei.

interno olimpicoThe fame of the new the­atre spread first to Venice and then all over Italy, rous­ing admi­ra­tion of all those who saw the human­ist dream of the reborn clas­sic art come true. After­wards, in spite such an exit­ing start, the theatre’s activ­i­ty was inter­rupt­ed by the cen­sor­ship under the counter-ref­or­ma­tion, and it became a sim­ple place of rep­re­sen­ta­tion: Pope Pius VI was received there in 1782, as well as the emper­or Franz I of Aus­tria in 1816 and his heir Fer­di­nand I in 1838. In mid-19th cen­tu­ry there were occa­sion­al­ly clas­si­cal rep­re­sen­ta­tions, but it was not until after World War II, with the threat of the bomb­ings­gone, that they start­ed again, in a the­atre which has no equals in the world.



The Soci­età del Quar­tet­to di Vicen­za is a non-prof­it asso­ci­a­tion that has been orga­niz­ing and pro­mot­ing sea­sons of con­certs, music fes­ti­vals and sin­gle con­cert events for over a century.

The asso­ci­a­tion’s his­to­ry began in 1910 when the writer Anto­nio Fogaz­zaro gath­ered around him a group of music lovers to cre­ate a musi­cal asso­ci­a­tion in Vicen­za, based on the exam­ple of oth­er his­tor­i­cal asso­ci­a­tions that in the late nine­teenth and ear­ly Twen­ti­eth cen­tu­ry had flour­ished in the most impor­tant Ital­ian cities.

Since then the activ­i­ty of the Soci­età del Quar­tet­to has been car­ried out unin­ter­rupt­ed­ly, with the excep­tion of a pause of a few years to coin­cide with the Sec­ond World War.

Born as a sort of pri­vate cir­cle which includ­ed the nota­bles of the city — mid­dle-high bour­geoisie and aris­toc­ra­cy — the asso­ci­a­tion’s activ­i­ty has grad­u­al­ly opened up to broad­er seg­ments of the pub­lic, espe­cial­ly since the sev­en­ties of the cen­tu­ry last.

Today the con­certs pro­mot­ed by the Soci­età del Quar­tet­to (about six­ty a year) are fol­lowed by an audi­ence of 20 thou­sand spec­ta­tors very het­ero­ge­neous by age, cul­tur­al edu­ca­tion and social back­ground, thanks to a care­ful pric­ing pol­i­cy and a scrupu­lous choice of pro­pos­als music that, depend­ing on the con­text, rang­ing from the “clas­si­cal” reper­toire to jazz, tra­di­tion­al and pop­u­lar music.

© 2018  Vicenza Opera Festival

© 2018  Vicenza Opera Festival