Estate Teatrale Veronese – Veronese Summer Theatre – is a great cultural tradition in Verona and celebrates its 75th anniversary this year. 

On the 6th and 7th of July, the spotlights of the Teatro Romano (one of Verona’s most symbolic places) will be turned on for a national premiere that will raise the curtain on the Festival Shakespeariano of Verona, unique to Italy and second to Stratford-upon-Avon in Europe.

The Festival Shakespeariano, an integral part of the great Veronese Summer Theatre catalogue, will present the show “Letti d’Amore” (Love Beds) for the first time, bringing together all the greatness and universality of Shakespeare’s work in one single evening.

The stage will be presided by prestigious actors like Giuliana De Sio, Adriano Giannini, Francesco Montanari, and Laura Morante, accompanied by a jazz quartet. Together they will be Romeo and Juliet, the star-crossed lovers; Hamlet and Ophelia, the symbol of tortured passion; Macbeth and Lady Macbeth, the professional lovers; Othello and Desdemona, the paradigm of the drama of jealousy; Titania and Oberon, the example of magical and mad love; Antonio and Cleopatra, torn between love and power; Caterina and Petruccio, trapped in a toxic relationship.

The show, dedicated to love and the relationship between couples, is a tribute to the history of the Festival, inextricably linked to the Bard of Avon. Produced by the Centro Teatrale Meridionale in collaboration with Generazioni Spettacoli and the Estate Teatrale Veronese, the project is signed by Fausto Costantini and written together with Raffaello Fusaro.

The artistic director of the Estate Teatrale Veronese, Carlo Mangolini, commented: “If anyone knew how to write about love, it was certainly William Shakespeare. The famous couples who are the protagonists of his plays are infinite, and the most interesting thing is that they represent so many different types of relationships in which each of us can find ourselves. They are topos capable of defining the most diverse feelings that confront the male and female universe. The richness of a festival” concludes director Mangolini, “Lies also in its ability to create ever-changing suggestions from which to start and rediscover the original sound of the most famous Shakespearean texts“.

The play: “Letti d’Amore – Quartetto shakespeariano” (Love Beds – Shakespeare Quartet)

Four restless characters find themselves dreaming during a night of questions. They tell each other their fears, desires, love, and doubts in a performance set to the rhythm of Shakespeare’s verses. At a time when we are all a little disoriented and looking for solutions to make sense of things, Shakespeare’s words come to life. Alternating seamlessly between the uncertainties of language, today’s phrases, and even a few mistakes, the characters immerse themselves in the Bard’s verses. Connecting Shakespeare’s themes to our time, a medley of flesh, betrayal, money, power, passion, comedy, and tragedy is staged. 
The actors, alternating between dialogues and monologues, fencing with repartee, mix atmospheres and languages in a show where words and live music convey emotions, eros, smiles, and poetry. In this nocturnal circus, Shakespeare’s characters are probably more alive than many people we know, and so Hamlet is an out-of-school student consumed by anxiety, for whom every choice is difficult; Juliet is a lover who knows that there is no right time for love; Shylock lends money to strangle and wear out his soul; the idea of happiness always contains the sudden announcement of pain; and the madman, the lover, and the poet are nothing but fantasy. Through their most representative scenes, these four extraordinary actors are called upon to demonstrate once again the greatness and universality of Shakespeare’s writing.

Diletta Tonello (President of the Consorzio di Tutela Lessini Durello), Marta Ugolini (Councillor for Culture), Carlo Mangolini (Artistic Director), Lucia Vesentini (Press officer Consorzio di Tutela Lessini Durello) and Igor Gladich (Director Consorzio Soave) during the official presentation at Vinitaly

Estate Teatrale Veronese is organised by the Comune di Verona in collaboration with the regional theatre circuit Arteven and with the support of the Ministry of Culture and the Veneto Region.