Picture Format: 4:3 Full Screen
Sound Format: LPCM stereo, Dolby Digital 5.1, DTS 5.1
Running Time: 66 Mins
Booklet Languages: English, French, German
Recording Date: 14 December 2003
The day after a fire destroyed the Gran Teatro La Fenice in 1996, Massimo Cacciari, then mayor of Venice, told the arts world: "We will rebuild the theatre again where it once stood, and in exactly the same style!"
Fondly called "La Fenice" - evoking the myth of theRead more Phoenix bird that periodically burns itself in order to rise again from the ashes as a symbol of eternal renewal - the Venetian theatre has burned to the ground twice since it opened in 1792. Following the first fire, during the night of 12/13 December 1836 it was rebuilt according to the original plans by Tommaso and Giambattista Meduna on a new site, the Campo San Fantin, where it has now been rebuilt following the second fire on the night of 29/30 January 1996, which reduced the theatre to its bare foundations.
When the legendary Phoenix finally rose from the Ashes again in 2003, its rebirth was celebrated with a series of concerts. Ricardo Muti, musical director of Italy's other world-famous opera house - La Scala, conducted the official inaugural gala concert on December 14th. In the presence of the Italian President, Carlo Ciampi, Muti conducted La Fenice's choir and orchestra together with some of the best Italian singers in an unusual but truly Venetian programme. That the theatre did not open with an opera was due to the fact that the stage was not yet mechanically fully operational. And so - after seven further opening concerts featuring illustrious orchestras and conductors, including the New Year's concert 2004 conducted by Lorin Maazel (also available on TDK DVD) - the Fenice closed again for almost another year. The final reopening followed in November 2004 with Verdi's La Traviata, the opera that had its world première here in 1853.