Every 1st of January, the New Year’s Venice Concert celebrates the rebirth of La Fenice Theatre

29 December 2021

Venice, December 29th, 2021 – In 2004, eight years after the fire that destroyed La Fenice Theatre on January 26th, 1996, it was decided that on New Year’s Day, a concert representing a symbolic rebirth of the Theatre will have always been played. A concert that, through the years, has become a venetian tradition. It was Anna Elena Averardi, advisor for the image of the theatre who had this idea, which was welcomed by Fabrizio del Noce who at that time used to be the director of Rai 1.

Every year since 2004, on New Year’s Day, a concert involving the orchestra and La Fenice choir enters the living rooms of thousands of people. Venice's choice to have a New Year’s Concert could be defined as risky since the New Year’s musical event is connected to the one that takes place in Vienna. An event that dates back to 1939, when Clemens Krauss, the director of the Philharmonic in the Austrian capital, dedicated the first concert to the opera by Johann Strauss son, in the golden room of the Musikverein. From that time on, also thanks to the astonishing composition as “The Beautiful Blue Danube” and the "Radetzky March”, the concert makes people forget about the war and the Nazi occupation of Austria, enchanting the whole world.

Nevertheless, the will of Venice was rooted into a desire for the rebirth of the Theatre, in order to begin again from the ashes of the fire of a Phoenix that had been flying high in the global scene of music since centuries, hosting stars such as Bellini, Donizetti, Rossini, Verdi, Puccini and Mascagni.

Centuries of history that, in a winter evening of 1996, were about to be erased by an arson at the top floor of the theatre. A fire that, after just 8 years, had been completely forgotten thanks to the great restoration works of a city that wanted to have its Theatre back as it used to be. Therefore, the New Year’s Concert is a celebration for its rebirth.

Among the curiosities, the Concert of 2011 was dedicated to celebrate the 150 years anniversary of the unification of Italy (for the occasion “Il canto degli italiani” was played) whilst the concert of 2013 was entirely dedicated to the musics of Giuseppe Verdi, to celebrate 200 years from his birth. The concert of January 1st 2021, that will take place during the celebrations for Venice 1600 years, will have as conductor Fabio Luisi who, according to the tradition, will provide a music program divided in two parts. The first one will be dedicated to music instruments while the second one will be dedicated to the opera with duets and choral steps interpreted by soloists of absolute prestige and the Chorus of the Teatro La Fenice.

Every year the Concert ends with two among the most famous plays by Giuseppe Verdi, which are considered as the gems of the italian musical heritage, such as: “Va’ pensiero sull’ali dorate”, the “Nabucco” and the most famous toast of the history of the Opera: “Libiam ne’ lieti calici”, played by Alfredo at Violetta’s house party, at the beginning of the Traviata.