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  • The Arena di Verona Festival is a summer festival of opera, located in the city of Verona Italy. Since 1936, it has been organized under the auspices of an official body, first the Ente Autonomo Spettacoli Lirici Arena di Verona, and then, following legislation in 1996 and 1998, the Ente Lirico Arena di Verona was transformed into a private foundation, the present-day Arena di Verona Foundation Opera performances are given in Arena di Verona, an ancient Roman amphitheatre, which was capable of holding 30,000 spectators. Performances traditionally begin at dusk and spectactors on the stone seats of the arena bring small candles which are lit as darkness falls and the performances begin. The first operas were performed in 1913 in celebration of the centenary of the birth of Giuseppe Verdi and were produced by the tenor Giovanni Zenatello and the theatre impresario Ottone Rovato. Their staging of Aida in the biggest open-air lyrical theatre in the world began a long tradition. In the following year Zenatello and others returned and, in the years before 1936, a variety of organizations took over the presentations.

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