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August 2025 Next





There is a party at the Ducal Palace in Mantua. The Duke confides to a courtier that he intends to seduce a girl whom he has seen in church and even followed her home afterwards. He is a young profligate, capable of anything, even to changing his identity in order to attain his aims. In the meantime, he is courting the Countess of Ceprano, thereby infuriating her husband who, in front of all the people present, is mocked by Rigoletto, the hunchback, court jester. The courtiers, convinced that Rigoletto has a lover, decide to take revenge and agree to meet to work out a plan. The dancing starts but the festive atmosphere is brusquely interrupted by the arrival of the old Count Monterone who accuses the Duke of having betrayed his daughter. Rigloetto mocks the old man. In his rage Monterone hurls an awful curse first, at the Duke and has him arrested and then, on Rigoletto who becomes afraid.


In the dead of night, Rigoletto returns home. He is thinking about Monterone’s curse when he bumps into Sparafucile, an assassin, who wants a job to do. Rigloletto says he will send for him if he needs him. On his own once more, Rigoletto meditates on his condition as a cripple but also as a cruel servant of power, forced to make the Duke laugh but surrounded by courtiers who hate him. He is aware of his physical and moral deformation. Yet, even he, is capable of loving. The only affection he feels is for his daughter who, since his wife’s death, he has kept hidden from the world. 


Gilda runs to meet him and he greets her affectionately, but when she asks him for information about his family, Rigoletto clams up. He hides his true identity from her, forbids her to go out and meet anyone else. He entrusts her supervision to Giovanna, an unreliable person who lets the Duke into the courtyard of the house in exchange for money. It was the Duke who had approached Gilda in church and now, disguised as a poor student he declares his love for her. She is won over, filled with the joy of a young, inexperienced girl. When the Duke leaves, the courtiers arrive, masked, to kidnap Gilda, the girl they believe to be the jester’s lover. When they meet Rigoletto, they tell him they are going to kidnap a lady the Duke is very fond of. Rigoletto wants to join in the fun and he, too, puts on a mask. They lead in a circle and stop before his own house. While they abduct Gilda, blindfolding her, he even holds the ladder for them. All the while they make him believe it is Ceprano’s wife they want to kidnap from the building opposite. When the old man realizes he has been made fun of, it is already too late. His anguish over the curse culminates in a heart-rending scream.



The Duke is nervous and out of sorts: he has returned from Gilda’s house and learns about the kidnap. For someone who is a serial seducer, he seems almost sincere as his voice softens when thinking of the girl. The courtiers recount their nocturnal adventure. He learns that Gilda is being kept secretly in an adjoining room. He goes to her joyfully.


Rigoletto enters, humming, feigning indifference, hoping to find Gilda. He is restless. When he realizes, however, that his daughter is in the next room with the Duke, he loses control. Infuriated, he throws himself at the door, shouting at the courtiers who try to hold him back. They insult him and threaten him. Crying, he begs to have her back. Gilda enters the room and she and her father embrace. The courtiers are astonished, and confused. Rigoletto urges those present to leave.


She confesses everything: meeting a young man disguised as a student in church, falling in love with him, the trauma of having learnt about love in a different way from what she had imagined. While Rigoletto is consoling her, Monterone passes by escorted by two guards, on his way to prison. He looks at the Duke’s face and observes with bitterness that the curse has had no effect.

Rigoletto cries that vengeance - on the Duke - will not long be delayed. 



At night, Rigoletto arrives at Sparfucile’s inn on the banks of the Mincio with his daughter, dressed in man’s attire. He wants her to realize the unworthiness of the man she loves. The Duke arrives disguised as an officer, asks for a room and some wine and sings a love song to Maddalena, Sparafucile’s sister. The love skirmishes between the Duke and Maddalena intertwine with Gilda’s desperation and her father’s plan of revenge.


Rigoletto tells his daughter to leave for Verona where he will join her. He now bargains with Sparafucile to murder the Duke. A storm is coming. The Duke goes to bed and Maddalena seeks to convince her brother to spare the young man: he’s very handsome and she’s in love with him. Rigoletto departs, but unbeknown to everyone, Gilda returns and overhears the entire conversation. Maddalena insists and eggs her brother on to kill the hunchback, instead. Sparafucile refuses, after all, he has his professional ethic: never to betray guests. It would be better, he says, to kill some other regular customer.


At this point the storm blows up. Gilda, who has heard everything decides impulsively to be killed herself, as a way of saving the Duke’s life along with her idealized love. She knocks on the door, enters and is shot dead. The storm dies down. At midnight, as agreed, Rigoletto reappears, settles his debt with Sparafucile and takes away the sack with the body in it, intending to throw it into the river. 


He feels triumphant as he walks away, but then in the distance he hears the Duke, singing. Desperation now seizes him. He stops, opens the sack and a flash of lightning reveals Gilda’s face. The girl is still alive, but only just, and manages to explain her gesture, asking for her father’s forgiveness. The curse is complete.   

Program and cast

Duration: Approx. 3 h 03 min

Language: Italian

Subtitles: English

Music: Giuseppe Verdi


cast coming soon

Verona Arena

Recommendations for the seats categories by age: it is highly advised for elderly persons to choose if possible only the stalls/parterre/orchestra seats (platinum, gold, silvera, poltronissima and poltrona categories), the rest of the seats on the stairs are not very easy to climb, the stone blocks are each of about 0,5m high, the old stone stairs aren not everywhere available, it can be quite hard to reach the seats, the first lines, tribunes, not to mention the last levels. Opticaly the arena seems to be not extra big from the ground floor entrances, actually it is quite huge, the capacity of the half of the arena today, adapted for the Arena Opera Festival is of: 15.000,00 spectators. It is about half of the space, the rest is taken for the stage set up. There are no seats behind the stage for view reasons.


1.*Explore more with the Verona Card!


Verona Card is your key to the city, unlocking its rich cultural heritage and helping you save!  

This combined ticket gives you savings on entrance to the main sights in the city, from the Arena to Juliet’s House, from Castelvecchio to the Museo Archeologico at the Teatro Romano.

There are two versions of the card available: a 24-hour card for €20 and a 48-hour card for €25. And that is not all: with the Verona Card, you can travel on buses in the city for free!

Let me show you some of the benefits of this card in more detail.

The following places offer free admission to Verona Card holders:

The Verona Arena

The Arche Scaligere Tombs

Basilica di Sant’Anastasia

Basilica di San Zeno

Juliet’s House

San Fermo Church

Verona Cathedral

GAM Achille Forti modern art gallery

Castelvecchio Museum

Natural History Museum

Juliet’s Tomb and frescoes museum and the Lamberti towers. 


The following places offer discounted admission to Verona Card holders:

Fondazione Museo Miniscalchi Erizzo

Museo Africano

Giardino Giusti

Further reductions:

Arena di Verona Opera Festival

SIM Shakespeare Interactive Museum

Guided tours of the city centre

The tourist train around the city centre

CitySightseeing Verona

Simonetta Bike Tours

Saba Arena Car Park

Adige River Rafting

Outside Verona: Museo Nicolis in Villafranca, Parco Sigurtà in Valeggio sul Mincio.


Important information:
- The Verona Card only gives admission to each museum/monument once.
- On the first Sunday of every month, from October to May, entrance to the public museums in Verona is just €1.
- The prices shown are subject to change, outside the control of the organisers.
- The Verona Card is non-refundable in the event of changes to the opening hours or the closure of the partner attractions, or in the event of a strike, public holiday or for other reasons, outside the control of the organisers.
- On buses run by ATV, the Verona Card must be validated by placing the card on the reader.
- The Verona Card is not valid on the Aerobus airport shuttle.
- The opening times of all of the listed attractions, in particular the Arena and churches, are subject to change for shows, services, special events and public holidays.

The Verona Arena (Arena di Verona) is a Roman amphitheatre in Piazza Bra in Verona, Italy built in 30 AD. It is still in use today and is internationally famous for the large-scale opera performances given there. It is one of the best preserved ancient structures of its kind.


2. City Sightseeing® Verona*


City Sightseeing® Verona allows you to admire city walls, castles, barracks, landscapes and historical, cultural, military, folkloristic and culinary testimonies, of a city declared a World heritage site by UNESCO.

The City Sightseeing®Verona has two sightseeing tours, sharing the departure in Piazza Bra, the Arena Square, symbol of the city.

The Line A leads to the Garderns Pradaval, reaching the medieval walls and getting to the district of San Zeno, with its famous Basilica; it moves towards the Adige, getting to Castelvecchio and continuing towards the Porta dei Borsari, the Roman Theatre and the Stone Bridge, the eldest monument of the city.

The Line B concerns the eastern part of the city, before moving to one of the most beautiful overlooks, Castel San Pietro. It then goes down then the hill and enters the city's historic district, where you can admire the typical bell towers of the Cathedral of Saint Anastasia. From here you can reach Piazza Erbe and Piazza dei Signori, until you get to Juliet's House.


The building itself was built in AD 30 on a site which was then beyond the city walls. The ludi (shows and games) staged there were so famous that spectators came from many other places, often far away, to witness them. The amphitheatre could host more than 30,000 spectators in ancient times.

The round façade of the building was originally composed of white and pink limestone from Valpolicella, but after a major earthquake in 1117, which almost completely destroyed the structure's outer ring, except for the so-called "ala", the stone was quarried for re-use in other buildings. Nevertheless it impressed medieval visitors to the city, one of whom considered it to have been a labyrinth, without ingress or egress. Ciriaco d'Ancona was filled with admiration for the way it had been built and Giovanni Antonio Panteo's civic panegyric De laudibus veronae, 1483, remarked that it struck the viewer as a construction that was more than human.


Musical Theatre


The first interventions to recover the arena's function as a theatre began during the Renaissance. Some operatic performances were later mounted in the building during the 1850s, owing to its outstanding acoustics.

And in 1913, operatic performances in the arena commenced in earnest due to the zeal and initiative of the Italian operatenor Giovanni Zenatello and the impresario Ottone Rovato. The first 20th-century operatic production at the arena, a staging of Giuseppe Verdi's Aida, took place on 10 August of that year, to mark the birth of Verdi 100 years before in 1813. Musical luminaries such as Puccini and Mascagni were in attendance. Since then, summer seasons of opera have been mounted continually at the arena, except in 1915–18 and 1940–45, when Europe was convulsed in war.

Nowadays, at least four productions (sometimes up to six) are mounted each year between June and August. During the winter months, the local opera and ballet companies perform at the L'Accademia Filarmonica.

Modern-day travellers are advised that admission tickets to sit on the arena's stone steps are much cheaper to buy than tickets giving access to the padded chairs available on lower levels. Candles are distributed to the audience and lit after sunset around the arena.

Every year over 500,000 people see productions of the popular operas in this arena.[3] Once capable of housing 20,000 patrons per performance (now limited to 15,000 because of safety reasons), the arena has featured many of world's most notable opera singers. In the post-World War II era, they have included Giuseppe Di Stefano, Maria Callas, Tito Gobbi and Renata Tebaldi among other names. A number of conductors have appeared there, too. The official arena shop has historical recordings made by some of them available for sale.

The opera productions in the Verona Arena had not used any microphones or loudspeakers until an electronic sound reinforcement system was installed in 2011.


How to reach Verona


By Car
Verona is easily reached by taking:
- the A4 Motorway SERENISSIMA, Milan-Venice, exit Verona Sud.
- or by taking the A22 Motorway Brennero-Modena, followed by the A4 Motorway Milan-Venice, direction Venice, exit Verona Sud.
Then follow the signs for all directions ('tutte le direzioni) followed by the signs for the city centre. 
Approximative distances from Verona by Motorways:
Vicenza km 51 Venezia km 114 Florence km 230 
Brescia km 68 Bologna km 142 Rome km 600 
Padova km 84 Bolzano km 157 Naples km 800 
Trento km 103 Milan km 161 

By Bus
The city centre is linked to the surrounding towns and villages, as well as Lake Garda, by a public transport bus service (the buses are blue in colour) which can be accessed at the bus station, situated directly opposite the train station (APTV Service). Click here for timetables and routes. 

By Train
The main railway station is VERONA PORTA NUOVA, which is the crossroads of both the Milan - Venice line and the Brennero - Rome line. 
There are direct trains and InterCity trains from all the main railway stations in the north of Italy throughout the day. 
Duration of trip : from Padua 40 minutes; from Vicenza 30 minutes; from Venice 1½ hours; from Milan 2 hours and from Rome 5 hours. 
City buses can be taken from the train station to the city centre and arrive in Piazza Bra, the central square where the Arena Amphitheatre is found. 
The Bus numbers are 11, 12, 13, 14, 72 and 73. 

By Plane
Verona's international Airport Catullo in Villafranca is situated approximately 10 km S-W of the city centre. 
There is a shuttle bus service to and from the airport approximately every 20 minutes from 06.10 to 23.30. 
The airport bus terminal is outside Porta Nuova Railway Station. 
Brescia Montichiari Airport which is situated approximately 52 kilometres from Verona, is also linked to Verona Porta Nuova Train station by a shuttle bus which runs approximately twice a day, in the morning and in the evening. Again the bus terminal is outside Porta Nuova Railway Station. 


Parking  nearby - Getting by car and parking next to the Arena

From highway A4 or A22 get the exit for Verona Sud.
Follow the signal “tutte le direzioni” (all directions) and then Verona city centre. 

Parking Arena 100m
Via M.Bentegodi,8 - Verona - 37122

Parking Arsenale
Piazza Arsenale,8 - Verona - 37126

Parking Isolo
Via Ponte Pignolo, 6/c - Verona - 37129

Parking Polo Zanotto
Viale Università,4 - Verona - 37129

There are plenty of restaurants and hotels next to the ancient amphitheatre.


Frequently asked questions

All the answers to the most frequent questions for those planning a visit to the Arena di Verona Opera Festival

Can I cancel or modify my ticket?

Once purchased, tickets cannot be refunded or exchanged for another date and/or sector.

Tickets refunds before the event are never provided.

What happens in the event of bad weather?

Should weather conditions prevent a performance from being staged as scheduled, Fondazione Arena di Verona may postpone the beginning by up to 150 minutes. In the event of a performance being stopped after it has begun, spectators will have no right to a refund of the ticket price. Click here for further information. 

I am a disabled person or the person accompanying me is a disabled person: is a reduction in ticket price foreseen in this case?

For all information regarding access to disabled spectators, we advise you to consult the dedicated page here.

I am unable to print out my ticket – can I show it in electronic format?

It is not necessary to print your ticket, you can also enter by showing the ticket on your smartphone.

Any other invoice request submitted through other channels, after the date of the performance, or which is not related to the ongoing Festival, will NOT be considered and therefore, automatically cancelled.

I would like to bring my children to the opera, at what age are they allowed to enter? Is a discount foreseen for families?

Children can enter the Arena from the age of 4. A package dedicated to families is not foreseen, however, your can visit our web page dedicated to Arena young.

Is it possible to purchase tickets for the shows using the “carta docente” for teachers?

Yes. All info can be found here.

What time should I arrive?

To ensure correct management of the entrances and to avoid delays, the spectator is required to arrive at the Arena at least one hour before the start of the show.

The gates open two hours before the show starts.

Is specific dress code compulsory for admittance to the shows?

There is no compulsory dress code.

In the stalls seats, a smart dress is preferable and shorts, tank tops/vests and thong sandals ARE NOT ALLOWED for men.

Is cloakroom service available?

No, there is no cloakroom service.

Is the opera libretto included in the price of the ticket?

No, but it can be purchased before the beginning of the show at the Arena shop at gate 10

Can I bring a small backpack, umbrella and cushion?

Yes, it is possible to enter with a small backpack and a small/folding umbrella (with no sharp points). On the other hand, it is forbidden to introduce cases, trolley cases, bags, backpacks or other bulky containers (over 17 litres).

If you have a seat on the stone steps, you can bring a cushion from home or purchase one at the Arena from the venue staff.

Can I bring food or drinks?

It is not possible to bring food or drinks into the Arena. Plastic bottles larger than 0.5 litres and any other bottle, container or glass/plastic objects are forbidden, as are any other blunt instruments that could cause damage to oneself or others.

Can I bring a camera?

No, it is forbidden to bring video cameras, professional or semi-professional cameras, tripods or musical instruments into the Arena.


Updated on 11 October 2023


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