With many residents on vacation, leisure time activities move away from the cities to the coast, such as the outdoor performance of well loved operas at Torre del Lago through August 21, which are presented according to current safety protocols including social distancing. This year, a shuttle bus is available as well to take guests from Viareggio to Torre del Lago and back (see link here for details).
Every year at the festival audiences enjoy renowned operas ever composed by Giacomo Puccini, and a remodelled version of the festival will still be going ahead this year. The Puccini Festival is set in an open-air theater overlooking the enchantingly calm Lake Massaciuccoli, close to Puccini’s house in Torre del Lago. The sight is truly breathtaking and suited to be the backdrop of exciting and entertaining performances, all of which start at 9:15 pm.
On the agenda this year will be new productions of Tosca – one of Puccini’s most renowned pieces – led by the Italian conductor Alberto Veronesi, recounting a story of torture, murder and suicide during the time of Napoleon’s invasion of Italy and 19th century conflicts between Italy and France. Tosca will be staged on August 6 and 14.
Puccini’s famously tragic foray into far-eastern milieu, Madama Butterfly, will be interpreted on August 8 and 21. The lyrical story of a U.S. Navy Lieutenant falling for a Japanese geisha has captured audiences since its first performance on the shores of Lake Massaciùccoli in 1931. Since then, the opera has been reinterpreted, and constantly restaged to more accurately and respectfully represent Japan, a country the composer could only imagine.
A café on the water, accessible by a bridge, is open to spectators during intermission. Although the view from the open air theater is sensational it is forbidden to take pictures or videos, strict policy asserts that cameras and camcorders will be confiscated until the end of the concert if found.
Admission can be purchased online (www.puccinifestival.it), by phone, email, or at the theater’s ticket office located outside of the open air theater’s second entrance on Via delle Torbiere up until the start of that night’s performance.
A ticket also gives a reduction on admission to the Villa Puccini house and museum, open just before performances, a must see for fans. The museum contains autographed composition scores, letters by Puccini, musical drafts, and most alluringly Puccini’s Steinway & Sons piano on which he composed Turandot. (freida aguilar & tyler bunton)