Opera at the Arena Sferisterio of Macerata: Accessible to All

The Sferisterio Arena in Macerata, in the Marche region, has become a unique destination for opera lovers of all kinds thanks to its summer calendar of productions enriched by English and Italian surtitles, audiodescriptions, as well tactile experiences and sign language translation. This innovative program of accessibility offers free services to inter/national audiences and spectators with special needs both during the performance and backstage before or after the show. Located in a region with a long opera tradition, the Sferisterio has taken its mission to a new level and has therefore received much media attention and general recognition for its sensitivity to different needs (of the 31.000 spectators in 2017, over 300 took advantage of special services).

The production of materials in English (titles and audiodescriptions) is the result of a collaboration between the Macerata Opera Festival, the University of Macerata, and Montclair State University in New Jersey. The event includes an introduction to Macerata and its splendid arena as opera-imbued places during and beyond the festival, a presentation of the summer 2018 calendar, and an illustration of the special services the Macerata Opera Festival offers to its audience as part of student-faculty projects. The panel also features experts from the opera theater sector whose experience and perspective as directors and critics will enhance the exchange on such topical issues such as accessibility and translation of opera as part of the international promotion of Italian language and culture.


  • Greetings: Giorgio Van Straten (Italian Cultural Institute, NYC, Director)
  • Introduction: Riccardo Lattanzi (MIA, Marchigiani in America, President) and Silvia Carlorosi (MIA, Marchigiani in America, Board Member)
  • Presenters:
    Elena Di Giovanni (Associate Professor of English Translation, University of Macerata) and Rosanna Coviello (Major in Italian, Montclair State University) with a video greeting by Luciano Messi (Macerata Opera Festival General Manager) and Barbara Minghetti (Macerata Opera Festival Artistic Director)
    Francesca Campagna (New York City Opera, Artistic Advisor for International Projects)
    Manuela V. Hoelterhoff (Former music critic for Bloomberg and Pulitzer Prize winner for Criticism)
  • Moderator: Teresa Fiore (Inserra Endowed Chair in Italian and Italian American Studies, Montclair State University)
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