July Means Music

by Danilo Brunetti

The month of July is (literally) music to the ears of Rome’s eager concertgoers. Tiffany Parks shares the program.

Whether you love to rock out to heavy metal or chill with a night of jazz, whether hot new sounds get your blood pumping or opera makes your heart soar, there’s something for everyone on Rome’s jam-packed July music calendar. Read on, then pick your favorites. (We don’t promise it will be easy.)

OPERA IN THE RUINS

Once a large public bath house established by the eponymous emperor, the evocative ruins of the Baths of Caracalla have served as the summer venue of Rome’s Teatro dell’Opera almost every year since 1937, and these days opera is only a small slice of the offerings. The summer season kicks off with the rarely performed Mass by Leonard Bernstein, a work of musical theater commissioned by Jackie Kennedy, which runs from 1 to 5 July. Italian ballet superstar Roberto Bolle returns for his annual Bolle and Friends extravaganza from 12 to 14 July, and Bizet’s fiery and well-loved opera Carmen premiers on the 15th and runs through the end of the month. The hit musical Notre-Dame de Paris opens on the 21st, and German violinist and crossover artist David Garrett takes the stage on the 25th for his Alive tour.

Baths of Caracalla – Via delle Terme di Caracalla. Tel 0639967702. operaroma.it

SONGS UNDER THE STARS

Steve Hackett

Avant-garde performance arts complex Auditorium Parco della Musica moves their concerts outdoors this month to the open-air Cavea that was modeled after an ancient amphitheater. An eclectic bill of over 20 artists is on the bill, performing hard rock to folk to progressive jazz to pop and more, including Deep Purple, Rufus Wainwright, Gregory Porter, Yann Tiersen, Herbie Hancoc, Simple Minds, Patti Smith Quartet, and Steve Hackett, to name just a few.

Auditorium Parco della Musica – Via Pietro de Coubertin, 10. Tel 06802411. auditorium.com

ALL THAT JAZZ

Quartetto Maurice

When the sprawling mid-20th-century Roman manor house Villa Osio was confiscated from a mafia boss in 2001, the Italian government did something extraordinary: they turned it into a mecca for jazz, and in particular, the promotion and dissemination of contemporary Italian jazz. The Casa del Jazz sees national and international talent perform on the villa’s stunning grounds for their annual summer series, which this year includes the likes of Francesco Montanari & Stefano di Battista, the Tigran Hamasyan Trio, Omar Sosa, Marialy Pacheco, the Modern Standards Supergroup, John Scofiel, Nate Smith Kinfolk, Cristone Kingfish, Roosevelt Collier, Suzanne Veta, The Beatbox, Makaya McCraven, Federico Buffa, the Orchestra Giovanile di Roma, Sons of Keme, the Louis Cole Trio, Yamandu Costa, Armandinho Macedo, and many many more.

Casa del Jazz – Viale di Porta Ardeatina, 55. Tel 0680241281. casajazz.it 

SCHOOL OF ROCK

Chemical Brothers

At Villa Ada, a wild green oasis northeast of the historic center, the annual summer Rome Meets the World fair (villaadafestival.it) includes an outdoor concert series featuring hot new names on Italy’s rock scene. Acts include Il Muro del Canto, James Senese JNC, Badbadnotgood Open Act, Emma Nolde, Ermal Meta, Yves Tumor, Almamegretta, Pendulum, Franco Micalizzi & The Big Bubbling Band, The Zen Circus, Kings of Convenience, and more. Meanwhile, across town at Ippodromo delle Capannelle, this historic horse racing track transforms into the main venue of the popular Rock in Roma festival (rockinroma.com) every summer. Big international groups like The Chemical Brothers and God is an Astronaut, alternate with up-and-coming stars of the Italian progressive and hard rock scene, such as Ernia, Ariete: Specchio, Rondodasosa, Achille Lauro, Gianluca Grignani, Litfiba, Frah Quintale, Gazelle, Caparezza, Il Tre, Blanco, Naska and Simone Panetti, and more.

Suzanne Vega

Villa Ada – Via Salaria, 267.Ippodromo di Capannelle – Via Appia Nuova, 1245. Tel 06716771.

ART MEETS SCIENCE

The ArteScienze festival takes over the performance spaces of the Goethe Institute from 9 to 19 July with concerts, music videos, sound installations, improvised music, theater, dance, workshops, meet-ups, and film screenings that explore the link between science and the arts. This year’s edition, titled Ecoforme, looks at conflict and solidarity through creative expression. Highlights of the program include performances by dance ensemble Akire Company, contemporary classical music group Ensemble Ascolta, string quartet Quartetto Maurice, saxophonists Adriano Baroni and Riccardo Iannilli, modern dance ensemble Compagnia Pindoc, theater company Valdrada Compagnia Teatrale, and much more.

Goethe Institute – Via Savoia, 15. Tel 068440051. artescienze.info