The Festival


Il Bel Canto: Opera in the Italian Music Tradition

This new edition of the Festival, Il bel Canto, will consist on a musical journey through opera in the Italian musical tradition.

Understanding that the country and the world will continue in a gradual re-opening process, the Festival will be shorter than usual. Along the way, we will continue to observe the progress of the social and sanitary context to take care, above all, of the safety and health of our artists and of our audience.

For us, the Friends of the Festival have always been a fundamental part of the development of each edition. Many of you have been with us since the beginning and have accompanied the evolution of the Festival to its transformation into the cultural patrimony and international benchmark that it is today.

At these times when the cultural sector in the whole country is reactivating, we hope more than ever to count on you again. Attached you will find a more detailed program along with the opportunities to join the Plan Amigos.

I hope to welcome you soon!
Best regards,

Julia Salvi

Tema 2021

Approaching the Italian Bel Canto tradition is to feel the opera. Italy, recognized as birth place of this form of entertainment, and also the place that for more than three centuries has produced thousands of works, many of which still exist in our current repertoire.

But what does L’Orfeo de Monteverdi have in common with La Bohéme de Puccini? Giulio Cesare de Haendel with Verdi’s Macbeth? Don Giovanni by Mozart with Norma by Bellini? All are, undoubtedly, operas that represent the expression of Italian style and tradition.

In the unanimous opinion of music historians, was born on October 6th, 1600 in Florence, Italy. On that day it was the presentation of Eurídice de Jacopo Peri on verses of the poet Ottavio Rinuccini, under the celebrations in honor of the wedding between Henry IV of France and Maria de Medici. However, Venice is the city where in the forties of the seventeenth century the opera took its first steps, to then continue its development with greatness during the seventeenth (17th), eighteenth (18th) and nineteenth (19th) centuries and the first part of the twentieth (20th) century. The Cartagena Music Festival for its 2021-2022 editions proposes a journey through the Italian bel canto. On the one hand, the presentations of overtures, arias, concerts, etc. offer to the audience a synthetic image of the historical evolution of the genre, choosing some representative masterpieces of a unique time and style; on the other hand, through lessons and conferences, opera is analyzed from a social, historical and cultural perspective, as well as its production mechanisms.

The 15th edition of the Cartagena Music Festival scheduled for 2021 will cover 3 centuries of Italian opera history following a program that will present the following works: L’Orfeo by Monteverdi (1607), The Coronation of Poppea by Monteverdi (1643), Giasone by Cavalli (1649), Mithridates Eupator by Scarlatti (1707), Giulio Cesare by Handel (1724), L’Olympiade by Caladara (1733) and from other composers, La buona figliuola or La Cecchina by Piccinni (1760), Alceste by Gluck (1767), Don Giovanni by Mozart (1787), Smiramide by Rossini (1823), Norma by Bellini (1831), Lucia di Lammermoor by Donizetti (1835), Macbeth by Verdi (1847), Il Trovatore by Verdi (1853), Don Carlo by Verdi (1867) and La Boheme by Puccini (1896). This edition will be a bit less extensive than those presented previously due to the global health crisis, but it can be considered as a preview of the 14th edition. It will take place at the Adolfo Mejía Theater in Cartagena and at the Getsemaní Auditorium (Cartagena de Indias Convention Center) June, 2021.

It will have the participation of the Bogotá Philharmonic Orchestra, conducted by Sebastiano Rolli and accompanied by Italian and Colombian singers. The 16th edition of the Cartagena Music Festival, scheduled for 2022 (January 7-15), will take place according to the traditional format of the Cartagena Music Festival in collaboration with the Teatro Comunale di Bologna and will be dedicated to the music of one of the greatest composers in the history of Italian opera, Rossini.