The wonderful Opera season in Puglia
The Petruzzelli Operatic and Symphonic Foundation of Bari is the organization around which much of the cultural life of the city revolves. It is named for the famous Teatro Petruzzelli, the center of music life in the city and province, but which fell victim to a disastrous fire in 1991 and reopened just in 2009. Taking up that slack, however, are other venues: the Basilica of San Nicola, the premises of the Piccinni Conservatory, and the Teatro Piccinni (now closed). The city of Bari also hosts the interesting Kismet Theater, a permanent theatrical and musical workshop, open to the public 6 days a week, the aim of which is to encourage those activities among the youth.
Brindisi's new Verdi Theater had its first concert in 2002. The theater is an impressive hyper modern structure that seats 1200 and was built near the presumed place where the poet Virgil is said to have died. The area contains significant Roman archaeology, which caused delays in the completion of the new concert hall.
The city and province of Foggia are noted as the birthplace of composer Umberto Giordano and much musical activity recalls that fact. The main venue for opera was built in 1828 and was renamed the Giordano Theater in 1928. The city has a secondary theater, named for Giuseppe Verdi.
Lecce was the birthplace of the great tenor, Tito Schipa. It also hosts a music conservatory and is the home of the Salento Chamber ensemble. The Teatro Comunale is named for Giovanni Paisiello, one of the great names in 18th century Neapolitan comic opera.
The "city on two seas", Taranto, recalls its connection to ancient Greece in the names of musical organizations such as the Magna Grecia Orchestra, the Ionian Art Orchestra and the Magna Grecia Choir. The area hosts the Association for the Music of Paisiello (born here), sponsors the annual Nicolosi Song Competition, and is the site of the internationally known Valle d'Itria Festival. It takes place in July and August, during which time the entire city of Taranto becomes a collection of venues for music of various sorts. It is considered one of the most important cultural manifestations in southern Italy.
Martina Franca is a town and comune in the province of Taranto, Apulia (Puglia), Italy. It is the second most populated city of the province after Taranto. Since 1975, the town hosted the annual summer opera festival, the Festival della Valle d'Itria.
The town has a particularly beautiful "old city" surrounded by stone walls with prominent Baroque gates leading to piazzas and winding, tiny streets. Piazza di Roma is the largest open space in the old city, with a greenspace in the center of a largely triangular grass pattern, facing the 17th century Palazzo Ducale.