For a unique opportunity to hear opera in Florence in a intimate setting, head over to St. Mark’s Church. Professional Opera singers in full costume have been delighting audiences for over 10 years.
Performances are held several times per week in this small church. With about 80 seats in a horseshoe shape, you will be up close to the opera singers. The operas are full performances with maybe a minor variation due to the size of the venue. What is nice, is that the host will give you an English explanation of what is occurring in the act before it starts. I do not speak Italian fluently, but thoroughly enjoy Italian opera knowing some context of the story and then just feeling the emotion of the songs through the music. They have a brief intermissions with Prosecco for 2 euros and a chance to take a peak around the beautiful church.
St. Mark’s Opera Official Website: Click Here (Site includes Photos and Videos)
- Tickets: Listed options on their website. I was able to just drop in about 30 minutes before the performance and get seats (though not in the front row), but this was in March/Early April. I would recommend reserving seats in advance. Also, request the center over the right / left side for better viewing.
- Tripadvisor: Also check out their ratings on TripAdvisor... Many pleased customers
- One other perk… The Opera Company is a non-profit and each concert supports AMALA, a charity project in South India for children.
I had the opportunity to see 2 performances: La Boheme and also Love Duets.
La Boheme: Puccini’s masterpiece about four bohemians in 19th century Paris. …And inspiration for the musical Rent. All of the performers had amazing voices and the highlight was David Righeschi with his beautiful tenor voice.
Love Duets: This is a unique opportunity to hear some opera singing from several of the operas and beautiful piano pieces played by the founder of the St. Marks’s Opera, Franz Moser (Fantaisie Impromptu was my favorite). Since the Duet Torna a Surriento needed a choir, they engaged the audience to help with singing “La, la, la”. They even indulged us with another song at the end. This nights selection were the following:
- G. Verdi: Duke’s Aria from Rigoletto “La donna e mobile”
- W.A. Mozart: Susanna’s aria from The Marriage of Figaro “Deh vieni non tardar”
- G. Puccini: Cavaradossi’s area Tosca “Recondita armonica”
- F. Schubert: Impromptu Op 90 No 2 – Piano
- G. Puccini: Calaf’s area from Turandot “Nessun Dorma”
- C. Gounod: Norina’s aria Don Pascuale “Quel guardo il cavaliere… Sa ancho’io la virtu magica
- F. Liszt: Nocturne Op 90 No. 3 – Piano
- G. Verdi: Duet from La Traviata “Libiam, libiam nei lieti calici”
- G. Verdi: Duet from La Traviata “Parigi, o cara”
- S. Cardillo: Core ‘ngrato
- F. Chopin: Fantaisie Impromptu Op. 66
- F.P. Tosti: Non t’amo piu
- S. Gastaldon: Musica proibita
- E. de Curtis: Duet Torna a Surriento
Dinner: Try Trattoria 4 Leoni in the Oltrarno. The food is delicious
- Before heading to the performance, go to Wikipedia and read the backstory on the performance to help you understand the opera in foreign languages. Here are some of the popular operas:
- Carmen: Click here
- Don Giovanni: Click here
- Elisir D’Amore: Click here
- Il Trovatore: Click here
- La Boheme: Click here
- La Fille Du Regiment: Click here
- La Traviata: Click here
- Macbeth: Click here
- Madame Butterfly: Click here
- Rigoletto: Click here
- The Barber of Seville: Click here
- The Magic Flute: Click here
- The Marriage of Figaro: Click here
- The Tsar’s Bride: Click Here
- Tosca: Click here
Map of St. Mark’s Opera[mapsmarker marker=”1″]