Hot Dates April 2022

by Danilo Brunetti

Classical music, groundbreaking exhibitions, and Easter celebrations make April in Rome come alive.

I PuritaniFrom Tuesday 19 to Saturday 30

The final work of the great bel canto composer Vincenzo Bellini goes up at Teatro Costanzi this month in a new production by the Teatro dell’Opera di Roma. I Puritani, set during the English Civil War of the mid-17th century, is a work that became the rage of Paris at its premiere in 1835. The opera follows the love story between a Puritan girl and her Royalist lover, a tale of jealousy, madness, and sacrifice, with a surprising happy ending. English-Australian soprano Jessica Pratt and American tenor Lawrence Brownlee take the starring roles, with Maestro Roberto Abbado at the podium. The completely reconceived staging is by director Andrea de Rosa. operaroma.it

Domus ArtiumSaturday 2

One of the most glorious palaces in the entire city, Galleria Colonna is the setting for an intimate evening of opera arias, part of a new concert series called Domus Artium, translated from Latin as “home of the arts.” This month, an evening with Luca Pisaroni awaits. Widely considered one of the most charismatic and versatile singers on the contemporary scene, the bass-baritone performs well loved opera arias in recital with a backdrop of the palace’s sumptuous 76-meter gallery, rich with masterpieces by the greatest artists of the 15th and 16th centuries. The concert series is a revival of the centuries-old tradition of combining music with visual art, an opportunity that is no longer reserved for the select few. domusartium.org

Batiashvili Plays Saint-SaënsThursday 7 to Saturday 9

The Auditorium Parco della Musica is not only one of Rome’s most fascinating examples of contemporary architecture, it’s also home to the Santa Cecilia National Academy Orchestra, one of the most prestigious classical music organizations in the country. This month, Georgian violinist Lisa Batiashvili interprets Saint-Saëns’ Concerto for Violin no. 3 under the baton of resident conductor Antonio Pappano. Batiashvili has been acclaimed by the New York Times for her “natural elegance, silky sound, and the meticulous grace of her articulation.” Also on the program are Brahms’ Symphony no. 4, one of the best loved works of classical music ever written, as well as the world premiere of Dosàna Nóva by Claudio Ambrosini. santacecilia.it

Holy WeekSunday 10 to Sunday 17

There’s no better place to celebrate the highest holiday of the Roman Catholic Church than Rome itself. Participate in events such as Palm Sunday, the Via Crucis, or even the Papal Mass itself on Easter Sunday, when Pope Francis blesses the faithful from the balcony of St. Peter’s Basilica. Find a full schedule of liturgical events at vatican.va And don’t forget Pasquetta! Easter Monday is a holiday in Italy, and tradition calls for lunch in the countryside or in one of the city’s many sprawling parks. Do as the Romans do—pack a picnic and head to Villa Pamphilj or Villa Borghese. Traditional ingredients for this much-loved day are fava beans, hard-boiled eggs, cold meats and cheeses, and grilled veggies, such as zucchini and artichokes.

Pope Francis, Easter Mass, Photo Globovision Via Flickr

100 Years of PasoliniFrom Wednesday 13

A modern Renaissance man if there ever was one, Pier Paolo Pasolini was an Italian film director, poet, actor, journalist, novelist, playwright, and political figure. This spring marks what would have been the 100th birthday of this extraordinary artist and intellectual, whose life was cut short in 1975 in what is still an unsolved murder. A new exhibition at the National Roman Museum at the Baths of Diocletian not only celebrates his life, but also explores the circumstances of his tragic death. Hostia, conceived by artist Nicola Verlato, is made up of a series of paintings, sculptures, drawings, architectural projects, music, and video art. The works on display narrate the “progressive elimination of art from life and the immense desperation that Pasolini expresses in his last works, associating the world with a hell that has lost every chance of salvation, because art, which gave meaning to things, has been eliminated,” explains Verlato. museonazionaleromano.beniculturali.it