Music & Dance at Montepulciano’s ‘Cantiere,’ Art & Entertainment at ‘White Carrara Downtown’

Piazza Grande, Montepulciano, a venue for many of the events of the Cantiere D’Arte

Art and cultural events celebrate the reopening of Tuscany after the pandemic period and those anxious to leave home have options to explore and experience the cultural richness of the area both in and around Montepulciano and Carrara.

The Cantiere Internazionale d’Arte, International Site of Art, presents its 46th annual edition with events radiating from Montepulciano throughout Tuscany.  Opera, music, dance and theatre, as well as presentations on civil rights and current events offer the public a wide array of events.

The calendar of 39 events held in Montepulciano, Cetona, Chianciano Terme, San Casciano dei Bagni, Sarteano, Sinalunga, Torrita di Siena and Trequanda invite reflection and foster comparisons between different languages ​​and poetics.  Particular attention is paid to contemporary forms, with many new works commissioned by innovative authors.

The world premiere of “Centanni—A Fairy Tale for a Possible Awakening” by Laura Fantini, representing the social and cultural recovery in the post-COVID world, comes to the Castle of Sarteano on July 16, 17 and 18 at 9 pm.

The organizers planned many events with orchestras, choral music and small ensembles.  On Friday, July 16, the Church of Santa Lucia in Montepulciano hosts “The Dream of Pan.  The Flute Between Naples and Venice in the 18th Century,” performed by the Naples Baroque Ensemble at 6 pm.  The same evening in Montepulciano’s Piazza Grande, attendees can enjoy “Sons of a Drunken God,” a performance comprising baroque music, concurrent dance and acting.  Dancers between the ages of 9 and 76 will interpret anti-heroes hailing from the edges of the world.

Other performances include symphonic music featuring the Orchestra of Tuscany (ORT) on Sunday, July 19 with musicians interpreting the music of Handel, Haydn and Beethoven, the Orchestra Poliziana and various soloists performing music as diverse as Bartok, Stravinsky, Vivaldi, Faure and Beethoven.

The green area around the Montepulciano lake is hosting a site-specific nature sound installation.

One highlight of the festival, a new creation “The Lili Elbe Show,” by Sasha Riva and Simone Repele, is dedicated to the Danish transgender artist Lili Elbe.  Accompanied by the Italian Youth Orchestra, the project aims to confront the sensitive issues of tolerance and acceptance, focusing on civil rights.  The show begins on July 29 at 9:30 pm in Montepulciano’s Piazza Grande and is repeated Saturday, July 31 at 9:30 in the Teatro Poliziano in Montepulciano and Sunday August 1 at 6pm in the Teatro Poliziano.

Hans Werner Henze, created the Cantiere Internazionale d’Arte in the belief that music, theatre and dance develop a relationship with people, society and regions.

A complete schedule of the festival can be found on the website:

Elsewhere in Tuscany, from July 17 –  25 the city of Carrara presents the popular cultural entertainment event that enhances the white marble of the Apuan Alps.  White Carrara Downtown highlights the ‘white gold’ marble, the identity of the city and its people with an urban museum itinerary comprised of places of art, installations, exhibitions and artisan workshops open to the public.  Theatre, opera, food and wine can also be discovered reflecting the uniqueness of the territory.

Visitors to Piazza Alberica in Carrara will see “Penguins on the Rocks,” a colony of colorful penguins resting on blocks of white marble, signifying the natural conditions of their habitat.  In Piazza Gramsci the statue of an elephant which comes into contact with a block of marble symbolizes a search for continuity between past and present.

The ‘Penguin on the Rocks” installation at the ‘White Carrara Downtown’

Other public spaces throughout the city host open air installations and music under the stars.  Theatre, interviews with guests from the world of culture and sports and guided tours to discover the treasures, including neoclassical sculptures, of the Fine Arts Academy (Accademia di Belle Arti) are also part of the White Carrara Downtown festival.

Organizers remind visitors of the need to comply with anti-COVID measures by wearing a mask in closed places, respecting social distancing of a least one meter and using the sanitizing gel at the entrance of exhibitions.  (rita kungel)

For more information, see the website: