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The 92nd edition of the Opera Festival at the Arena in Verona will start on 20th June and finish on 7th September. For the 2014 Festival 6 different operas and 3 special events will be presented, for a total of 54 performances. The 2014 Festival will open on 20th June at 9 p.m. with a new production of Verdi’s Un ballo in maschera (A Masked Ball). The opera, which has not been performed in the Arena since 1998, will be directed by Pier Luigi Pizzi. For all 7 performances, the Veronese conductor Andrea Battistoni will direct the orchestra. Repeat performances: 27 June at 9 p.m. – 11, 19, 24, 31 July at 9 p.m. – 8 August at 8.45 p.m.  Georges Bizet’s Carmen which in 2014 celebrates 100 years since its first performance in the Arena, will open on 21st June at 9 p.m. The director and scenographer will be Franco Zeffirelli, the costume designer Anna Anni. Two conductors will alternate: the Hungarian Henrik Nánási (21/06 – 4, 8, 25/07 – 1, 7, 14/08), who will be making his début in the Arena, and Julian Kovatchev (26/06 – 10/07 – 29/08 – 3/09). Repeat performances: 26 June at 9 p.m. – 4, 10, 18, 25 July at 9 p.m. – 1, 7, 14, 29 August at 8.45 p.m. – 3 September at 8.45 p.m.  Verdi’s Aida, the opera which is synonymous with the Arena, will once more be presented in its two versions.  From 28th June at 9 p.m., for 10 evenings, the futuristic version will be staged. The brainchild of the Catalan team, La Fura dels Baus, it was specially created for the Centennial Festival. The directors will be Carlus Padrissa and Álex Ollé, production assistant and choreographer, Valentina Carrasco, scenographer Roland Olbeter and costume designer, Chu Uroz. The conductor also for this opera will be Julian Kovatchev. Repeat performances: 3, 6, 8, 15, 20, 23, 27, 29 July at 8 p.m. – 3 August at 8.45 p.m.  From 10th August Aida returns for 7 performances in the not-to-be-missed edition inspired by the original production of 1913 directed by Gianfranco de Bosio and choreographed by Susanna Egri. For the first three performances, the conductor will be Daniele Rustioni (10, 16, 24/8), making his début in the Arena, then the baton will pass to Fabio Mastrangelo (26, 31/8 – 4, 7/9). Repeat performances: 16, 24, 26, 31 August at 8.45 p.m. – 4, 7 September at 8.45 p.m.  On 5th July at 9 p.m. Turandot by Giacomo Puccini will go on stage under the skillful direction of Franco Zeffirelli, widely appreciated for his extravagant scenography and ably assisted by Oscar prize-winner for costumes, Emi Wada. All 7 performances will see Daniel Oren on the podium.  At 10 p.m. on 17th July a gala concert will be held, with Plácido Domingo as protagonist under the conduction of Daniel Oren, singing Verdi’s most famous arias in Plácido Domingo sings Verdi.  At 10 p.m. on 22nd July an eagerly anticipated evening dedicated to dance: ballet returns to the Arena with the show Roberto Bolle and friends. The protagonist of the evening will be leading dancer Roberto Bolle, who will be joined by international stars of classical dance. The conductor of the Orchestra of the Arena di Verona will be Julian Kovatchev.  At 10 p.m. on 9th August Carl Orff’s Carmina Burana will be performed under the direction of Andrea Battistoni.  At 8.45 p.m. on 15th August Puccini’s Madama Butterfly (Madame Butterfly) will make its début for the season. This edition, using the successful set design of Franco Zeffirelli will run for 6 evenings. The orchestra will be conducted by Marco Armiliato. Repeat performances: 22, 27, 30 August at 8.45 p.m. – 2, 5 September at 8.45 p.m.  On 23rd August at 8.45 p.m. the final opera on the programme, now a tradition, will be Charles Gounod’s Roméo et Juliette (Romeo and Juliet) with Francesco Micheli’s successful staging being used for the fourth time. The scenography is by Edoardo Sanchi, the costumes by Silvia Aymonino and the choreography by Nikos Lagousakos. The conductor for all three performances will be Carlo Montanaro, making his début in the Arena. Repeat performances: 28 August at 8.45 p.m. – 6 September at 8.45 p.m.  All these performances will engage the Orchestra, Chorus, Corps de ballet and Technical staff of the Fondazione Arena di Verona, as well as numerous mime artists and walk-ons.  There will be a change next year: the starting time of the performances will be brought forward by 15 minutes. For the months of June and July the performances will begin at 9 p.m., in August and September at 8.45 p.m. The three special performances on 17 and 22 July and 9 August will start at 10 p.m.