Rhinegold Donnafugata Castle - an atmospheric setting for the Sicilian Opera Choir's concert series in historic sites around Italy

Susan Young

Sicilian Opera Choir brings historic settings to life with the sound of singing

3:28, 7th September 2020

While much of the rest of Europe saw its opera houses and theatres shut for the duration of the summer, Sicily has been making the most of Classical performing venues open to the stars. These ancient sites could have been designed with the ‘Age of Covid’ in mind: generous outdoor settings allowing for safe, socially distanced music-making.

Following the success of its Festival Lirico Dei Teatri Di Pietra, which took place in July and August at the Ancient Greek theatres of Taormina, Syracuse and Tindari, the award-winning Sicilian Opera Choir will be extending the festival with a series of site-specific concerts this month. On 11 September, the award-winning chorus will perform at the Timoleontee Walls (left), a remarkable stretch of Ancient Greek fortifications along the hills above the Gulf of Gela on Sicily’s southern coast.

On 13 September, the singers can be heard at ‘Palmintelli’ urban archaeological park in Caltanissetta, located at the very heart of Sicily; and their final concert in this ‘mini-festival’ will take place on 19th September in the beautiful Donnafugata Castle in Ragusa, an ancient hill town in the southeast of Sicily. With medieval origins, though completed in the 19th century, this splendid private residence will provide yet another atmospheric backdrop to an evening of world-class music-making from one of Italy’s most acclaimed opera choruses.

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