The Festival

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The Festival

The Festival that has been running every summer for the last 50 years in Martina Franca, in the region of Apulia, has become famous thanks to its unusual and bold choices, and for the quality of the artists that have filled its seasons. Located on the southwestern hills of Murgia, Martina Franca is a baroque town gifted with beautiful views on the Valle d’Itria, resting among vineyards, woods, and centuries-old olive trees. Created in 1975, the Festival has always stood out for selecting forgotten operas and rarely performed pieces of music, for full version performances and critical editions, and for its adherence to the composers’intents. 

From 1980, under the presidency of Franco Punzi and artistic direction of Rodolfo Celletti – a leading voice specialist – the festival reaffirmed its original identity as a re-evaluation of the bel canto repertoire and the Neapolitan School, whose greatest stars were Puglia-born composers, without neglecting the vast European repertoire and, in particular, the appreciation of Italian bel canto elements in the work of non-Italian composers. Alberto Triola took the helm as artistic director of the festival in 2010 (after Sergio Segalini’s period 1994-2009) and refocused attention on the bel canto repertoire in Baroque opera, while also planning to extend the festival’s horizons to include twentieth century and contemporary works. 

Sebastian F. Schwarz is the new artistic director for 2022-2024, he succeeds to Alberto Triola, who directed twelve editions of the festival. Born in 1974, for two years Sebastian F. Schwarz has led the Teatro Regio di Torino, where he continues to be artistic director. His excellent career has seen him featured in many European theatres and festivals, including Wexford, the Theateran der Wien, and Glyndebourne. The artistic projects he has been a part of have been recognised in Europe for their originality, pertinence, and consistency, with a predilection for the Baroque and rare repertoires as well as a number of world premieres. These characteristics have made him the perfect candidate to lead the Festival della Valle d’Itria for the next three years. 

The festival has been awarded the sought-after Premio Abbiati ten times by the national association of Italian music critics. 


2022 Festival della Valle d’Itria

2021 Festival della

Valle d’Itria

Festival della

Valle d’Itria 2020