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“Wonderful performance by Orchestra Sinfonica del Teatro Carlo Felice - and it was free!”

Teatro Carlo Felice
Ranked #39 of 286 things to do in Genoa
Certificate of Excellence
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Owner description: The Teatro Carlo Felice Opera House was inaugurated on April 7th 1828 with the opera "Bianca e Fernando" by Vincenzo Bellini. The original project was made by Architect Carlo Barabino. Unfortunately, during world war 2nd an incendiary bomb destroyed the Theatre. On April 7th 1987, the foundation stone of the new theatre was laid. The new architectural project was created by Ignazio Gardella, Aldo Rossi and Angelo Sibilla. The artistic season 1991/1992 was the rebirth of the new theatre. Since then artistic seasons including operas, concerts and cultural meetings have been held.
Reviewed October 7, 2013

I happened to go into the theatre during our recent visit to Genoa to enquire about their operatic programme. There were no suitable performances for our dates, but the very helpful lady in the information office recommended we attend that evening’s free performance by the symphony orchestra, with guest conductor Maurizio Billi. I don’t know how often free concerts are given, but there was another free afternoon concert three days later. The patrons appeared to be mainly residents of Genoa who queued about an hour before start time. We had no difficulty getting excellent seats.
The interior appearance of the theatre is quite disappointing. It struck us as being pretty utilitarian. However, acoustically it was perfect, and the seating was comfortable.
The performance, lasting almost two hours, included relatively well known pieces by Verdi, Tchaikovsky, Bellini, Ponchielli, Rossini and Borodin – an excellent sampler even if you’re an unsophisticated concert-goer!
When in Genoa I strongly recommend that you check out the programme at Teatro Carlo Felice.

Date of experience: October 2013
Thank SydneyTeviot
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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7 - 11 of 199 reviews

Reviewed June 11, 2013

We went to see and hear Verdi's La Traviata. Although I thought I was ordering the tickets well in advance, I was wrong and we had high seats. Even with the less than the best location, the performance was greatly enjoyed. Bravo.

Date of experience: June 2013
2  Thank FrankColorado
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed December 30, 2012

We were able to see Turandot from the balcony (galleria) and it was a good balance between price and experience. I checked out all the seats in the main area of the galleria and except for the first 2 rows the sight lines were fine. Do not expect to see much from the balconetta seats running down both sides of the balcony. In my estimation these are only for listening. Also read AnnArborMHT for the best complete review of the theatre. Champagne in the reception is 10 Euros a glass. Since we were coming from out of town we booked on line but the last minute seats were available.

Date of experience: December 2012
2  Thank bassman46
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed April 28, 2012

I have been to Teatro Carlo Felice several times for the opera, ballet and performances by the symphony orchestra, with the most recent visit yesterday for the opera, Turandot by Giacomo Puccini. I’m no judge of the acoustics, staging, or the technology that provides for an excellent production, but I have always enjoyed the many offerings at the theatre and highly recommend a visit to the theatre for any of their performances. If you are expecting a beautiful, richly decorated theatre, you will be disappointed; Teatro Carlo Felice was reconstructed after being severely damaged during WWII and is one of Genova’s newer buildings from 1985. It does have an excellent reputation for its acoustics and staging because of the massive tower and the technological advances that come with a newer theatre.

Each year, a rather ambitious schedule of events is offered, so there is always something for everyone, even throughout the summer, although the main season is September- June. Visitors should check out their website www.carlofelice.it or stop by one of the two tourist offices for performances while visiting. I have never tried to buy tickets online, because “last minute” tickets are almost always available, unless it’s closing night for a performance. However, this might be a good way to procure tickets, as the box office has inconsistent opening hours or try stopping by frequently as you traverse Piazza de Ferrari.

I always purchase “last minute” tickets, which are available 1 hour before the performance and discounted from 10-40 percent, but you must insist on a discounted ticket, because they often just give you a seat in the back of the theatre at full price. I attended Turandot for 25 euros vs. 45 at regular price. There are a limited number of discounted tickets, so I try to be at the box office promptly, 1 hour before the start of the performance. For evening performances and discounted tickets, the box office is located, when looking at the front doors of the theatre, to the left. During the regular hours; the box office is to the right and around the corner of the theatre. Once you have your last minute ticket, and have some time before the performance starts, I suggest that you walk across the street and join the theatre crowd for an aperitivo, or stop in Bar Mazzini in the Galleria Mazzini (3 minute walk) for free food with a cocktail.

Remember that most opera’s are in Italian, so if you don’t understand the language read a summary of the opera before attending. It’s so helpful to understanding the story and enjoying the opera.

During intermissions, do get out of your seat and explore! They often set up an elaborate array of food/deserts for purchase, plus a full bar in the second floor atrium. I enjoy the outdoor balcony that overlooks Piazza de Ferrari (if you can get away from the smokers!). Q up quickly for the bathrooms, which are well hidden…as in all theatres, there are never enough! The inside staircases to the upper most balcony are incredibly confusing with poor signage and you can get lost in a maze of white marble stairs, going to nowhere! Beware!

If you are visiting this September, consider attending the “Premio Paganini”. Every two years the very best violinists gather in Genova for the International violin competition in honor of Niccolo Paganini. Nearly all the performances leading up to the final competition are free, with the final two evening concerts priced at only 15 euros (2 yrs ago) and it’s really very exciting!

If you are visiting Genova, going to a performance at Teatro Carlo Felice is a great way for full Italian immersion and the perfect way to end an evening. If you would like more information, I’m always happy to respond to your email. Enjoy Genova!

Date of experience: April 2012
15  Thank AnnArborMHT
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed yesterday
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Date of experience: July 2018
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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