Hot Dates January/February 2023

by Danilo Brunetti

Rome starts the year with a bang with ballet, mime theater, magic, and more—pick your favorites and book your tickets early!

SupermagicFrom Tuesday 31 January to Sunday 12 February

An absolutely unmissable event this month—particularly for the little ones—is Enchantments, the latest installment of the fabulous annual international magic festival Supermagic. Now in its 19th edition, this year the festival presents a star-studded show that’s even more magical than ever, inviting the audience to enter a dimension where the natural order is distorted, where laws of physics are suspended, where the fantastic becomes real. Surprising special effects, breathtaking scenery, original music, and unprecedented illusions make this an event not to be missed. Teatro Brancaccio.

A Night at the OperaFrom Wednesday 11 January

The Teatro dell’Opera di Roma warms up the cold winter nights with a sizzling program of world-class music and dance. It all starts on 11 Jan with Donizetti’s delightful romp L’Elisir d’Amore and its story of unrequited love and quack salesmen, and haunting arias like Una Furtiva Lacrima. Opening on the 31st and running through the second week of February, Verdi’s masterwork Aida thrills audiences with its sheer musical and theatrical grandiosity. On Feb 15, the mood changes dramatically with a performance of Verdi’s Requiem, and the month is capped off with a performance of Ludwig Minkus’s swashbuckling ballet, La Bayadère.

BefanaFriday 6 January

According to Italian tradition, on the feast day of the Epiphany, a friendly witch named La Befana fills the stockings of children, just like a certain jolly old elf we all know and love. Good children get candy and naughty ones get coal, a ritual that symbolizes the Three Kings who brought gifts to Baby Jesus the same day. It’s a popular day for taking a long walk through Rome’s historic neighborhoods, checking out the holiday lights before they’re taken down, and warming up with a cup of hot cocoa or mulled wine. The center of the action happens in Piazza Navona where Befanas hand out candy to children and a ride on the carousel is a must. 

Les ÉtoilesSaturday 28 and Sunday 29 January

A spectacular celebration of excellence in classical dance returns to the stage of the Auditorium PDM to the delight of ballet lovers across the city. International stars come together to perform excerpts from the most famous ballets of all time, from both the classical and contemporary repertoires, representing the pinnacle of both choreography and musical composition. The stellar list of performers includes Sergio Bernal, William Bracewell, Valentine Colasante, Alessandro Frola, Marianela Nuñez, Anna Rose O’Sullivan, Giorgi Potskhishvili, Madoka Sugai, Maia Makhateli, Marcelino Sambé, and many more.

Mummenschanz: 50 YearsTuesday 31 January  to Sunday 5 February

A combination of mime, modern dance, and surreal masked theater, Swiss troupe Mummenschanz has been inspiring  surprise, amazement, and laughter on all five continents since its founding in 1972. To celebrate half a century on the stage, the company presents a compilation of their best-loved numbers as well as several all-new pieces in a fantastic and poetic journey in which bodies become faces, glow-in-the-dark costumes are transformed into animals, and a pair of giant hands interact with the audience, all with the help of enchanting lights that create the perfect illusion. Catch it at Teatro Olimpico.

Saldi!From Thursday 5 January

If your wallet is on the lighter side after the holidays, that doesn’t mean you need to go without! Sales in Italy occur only twice a year, but they are city wide and well worth the wait. The first Thursday of the year marks the kickoff of Rome’s winter sales, with cold-weather fashions, home goods, electronics, and more discounted by up to 70% across the city. From independent boutiques to big international brands, from discount outlets to luxury labels, you can’t afford not to shop!