Hot Dates October 2023

by Danilo Brunetti

An explosion of music, dance, exhibits, and festivals hits the Eternal City this month. 

Swan LakeFrom Tue 17 to Sun 22

Think you know Swan Lake? Think again. The Rome Ballet, in collaboration with the Roman Philharmonic Academy company presents a thoroughly reimagined staging of this timeless classic, titled Swan Lake, or The Song, a new production that is also loosely based on Anton Chekhov’s The Song of the Swan, a fairytale in which the two lovers, Siegfrid and Odette, pay with their lives for the passion that binds them. The innovative and original choreography by Fabrizio Monteverde contrasts sharply with Tchaikovsky’s sumptuous score, while celebrated ballerinas Carola Puddu and Roberta De Simone flawlessly interpret roles of the Black Swan and the White Swan, respectively. Together they embark on a journey of love, captivity, and liberation, amid the hints of a cruel fairytale and the symbols of an art that dominates life. Teatro Olimpico.

Gilberto GilSaturday 7

Gilberto Gil is without a doubt a legend in his own time, and for one night only, the Brazilian singer-songwriter will grace the stage of Rome’s Auditorium Parco della Musica as part of his Aquele Abraco Tour. His colossal career began in the 1950s, when, as a child, he was inspired by the bandonéon of Luis Gonzaga, the songs he heard on the radio, and the music of the religious processions of Brazil. With the arrival of bossa nova, a sound that, from deep in the heart of Brazil reached stages around the world, Gil would go on to found a new musical movement, the Música Popular Brasileira. Over his long career, he has collaborated with some of the most celebrated names in the history of music, from Bob Marley to Stevie Wonder to Sting, produced over 60 albums, sold millions of records worldwide, and won nine Grammy Awards and countless other accolades. Don’t miss your chance to see his final tour in Europe, the conclusion of a legendary European career that began in Montreux in 1978.

CabaretFrom Wed 18

One of the most beloved and acclaimed musicals in the history of Broadway makes a stop in Rome this month for a short but highly anticipated run. Cabaret is based on a novel by Christopher Isherwood and set in Berlin in the 1930s during the Nazis’ rise to power. It follows the story of Sally Bowles, star of the city’s famous cabaret, and her involvement with Cliff Bradshaw, a young American writer in search of inspiration, who falls under the spell of this new Babylon, full of deep poverty and fear of the future, but also lights, colors, music, and joie de vivre. The well-loved score by John Kander, with lyrics by Fred Ebb, is chalk-full of iconic songs that explore the gritty themes of politics, love, and personal freedom in an age of great uncertainty. The production offers an entirely new staging by Arturo Brachetti and Luciano Cannito, with a cinematic visual setting and special effects that bring the show firmly into the 21st century. Songs in English, dialogue in Italian. Teatro Brancaccio.

Julius Caesar in EgyptFrom Friday 13 to Saturday 21

Handel’s masterpiece Giulio Cesare in Egitto continues to captivate opera enthusiasts worldwide nearly 300 years after its debut. The enchanting baroque opera, set amidst the intrigue of ancient Egypt, weaves a tale of love, power, and political maneuvering. Handel’s exquisite compositions and lyrical arias transport audiences to a bygone era, while the timeless themes resonate even today. Maestro Rinaldo Alessandrini is at the podium the Teatro dell’Opera di Roma interprets this exquisite yet rarely performed opera in a completely new production with cutting-edge stage direction by Damiano Michieletto. Teatro Costanzi.

Italo CalvinoFrom Friday 13

A new exhibit at the Scuderie del Quirinale takes visitors on a journey through the life, choices, political activity, places, and, above all, the literary production and writing methods of Italian writer Italo Calvino. More than two hundred works are on display, including paintings, sculptures, drawings, and illustrations by dozens of artists from the Renaissance to today, in addition to medieval illuminated manuscripts, tapestries, photographs and portraits of the author, as well as first editions of Calvino’s books. The halls of the exhibition come to life with the greatest themes of Calvino’s work: from cosmopolitan influence to the international openness of scientific research; from the attraction for contemporary urban modernity to the global projections suggested by astronomy; without neglecting the impact of fairytale and mythological imagination. Images, works, and a myriad of objects are in constant dialogue with the words of the writer in a fully immersive experience.