Whether or not you’re a serious opera aficionado, you’re probably familiar with Italy’s prominence when it comes to the opera world. Many of the world’s most famous opera composers came from Italy, and opera remains popular today. Some cities have extremely well-known concert halls that are tourist attractions as well as venues for music – La Scala in Milan and La Fenice in Venice among them. In a city like Florence, the venues may not be as famous, but opera in Florence sure to be the highlight of any music-loving visitor’s trip.
Florence’s Teatro Verdi is the opera and ballet theatre. The season typically runs from January through April, and there are often Sunday afternoon shows in addition to evening performances. The Orchestra della Toscana (ORT) performs at the Teatro Verdi, with its season running from December through May. The Teatro Comunale has a wide variety of performances on its calendar, including ballet, opera, concerts, and even plays. Sometimes you can find concerts happening in churches throughout Florence, too, which may even be free of charge. Church concerts aren’t always well-advertised (at least not to people who don’t live in Florence), so stop into the tourist information office to find out what performances may be going on while you’re visiting.
Depending on when you visit Florence, there may also be special events and performances going on. In May and June, look for the Maggio Musicale Fiorentino, a well-respected music festival started in the early 1930s that is centered in the Teatro Comunale. The festival often includes ballet, opera, and orchestral performances.
Booking tickets for an opera or concert performance in Florence before you arrive isn’t necessarily difficult these days, thanks to online ticket outlets, but in some cases you’ll get a better deal if you wait until you get to Florence and book directly at the box office of the venue holding the concert. Of course, this does mean you risk it being sold out. You can also try your luck on the Italian-only box office site, boxol.it, which covers Tuscany as well as a few other regions in Italy. Viator also offers a Florence Concert and Dinner option, where you get dinner in a typical Tuscan restaurant followed by a concert in an historic Anglican church.