In August, Gian Carlo Menotti is interviewed by the Veronese newspaper L’Arena, and confirms that Spoleto is to be the seat of the Festival dei Due Mondi
Menotti set his eyes on Spoleto, a quiet town that already has a theatrical tradition […] the project is really interesting and can succeed.
On 5th June, the first Festival dei Due Mondi opens with Giuseppe Verdi’s Macbeth directed by Luchino Visconti, scenes and costumes by Piero Tosi and conductor Thomas Schippers.
On 29th June, for the first time, Piazza Duomo hosts a Festival performance with Giuseppe Verdi’s Messa da Requiem, conducted by Thomas Schippers.
At the Teatro Nuovo Jerome Robbins’ “silent ballet” Moves is staged as a world premiere.
An attempt to renounce the leadership of music. Dance alone must work on the spectators through the intrinsic language of movement and representations, even without the aid of scenery and costumes.
Louis Armstrong does not take part in the scheduled Spoleto show because on 23rd June he is rushed to Spoleto Hospital with acute pneumonia.
Gian Carlo Menotti becomes an honorary citizen of Spoleto and the press proclaims him Duke of Spoleto.
At the 3rd Festival dei Due Mondi Menotti inaugurates the series of the Midday Concerts directed by Charles Wadsworth.
Pina Bausch makes her Festival debut with the New American Ballets.
For the first time the Festival closes in Piazza Duomo with Luigi Cherubini’s Messa solenne in D minor for Soloists, Choir and Orchestra conducted by Thomas Schippers.
Carla Fracci makes her Spoleto debut at the 5th Festival dei Due Mondi.
Inauguration of Sculptures in the city. Spoleto 1962, the exhibition conceived and curated by Giovanni Carandente, which brings some of the most famous sculptors of the 20th century to Spoleto for a total of over 100 sculptures which are displayed all over the Umbrian town.
The Festival turns 10. Fun Fact: the celebratory poster, signed by Richard Lindner, mistakenly indicates 1957 – rather than 1958 – as the first year of the festival.
Calderon De La Barca’s Il Principe Costante (The Constant Prince) is staged in the Sala XVII Settembre with Jerzi Grotowski’s 13 Rzedow Theatre Workshop. This performance attracts the entire cultural world, with the audience featuring Pier Paolo Pasolini, Anna Magnani, Dacia Maraini and Alberto Moravia, among others.
The Bulgarian artist Christo “wraps” the Torre dei Molini and the fountain in Piazza del Mercato with rope and canvas.
A work by Gian Carlo Menotti is staged at the Festival for the first time: The Saint of Bleecker Street.
Gian Carlo Menotti becomes President of the Festival dei Due Mondi. Massimo Bogianckino is appointed artistic director.
A very young Al Pacino makes his Festival debut in the triptych The Indian Wants The Bronx | It’s Called The Sugar Plum | Chiaroscuro by Israel Horovitz.
In the ex Church of San Nicolò, the world premiere of Ludovico Ariosto’s Orlando Furioso in the famous version by Luca Ronconi.
Spoleto Cinema is founded with Luchino Visconti as president, with the aim of «promoting the knowledge and diffusion of art and cinematic culture at an international level».
Romolo Valli is named artistic director of the Festival.
Luchino Visconti stages Giacomo Puccini’s memorable Manon Lescaut, which is such a resounding success that it is repeated the following year.
After long and meticulous restoration work, on the 5th of July the Roman Theatre hosts its first performance with the premiere of Annie Beranger’s Ballet Company.
Roman Polanski stages Alban Berg’s Lulu, with conductor Christopher Keene leading the newly-formed Spoleto Festival Orchestra USA.
The final concert of the 18th edition of the Festival is the last to be conducted by Thomas Schippers, who leaves his post as music director of the Festival.
The first Spoleto Festival in Charleston is staged.
The 20th Festival dei Due Mondi opens with Nino Rota’s operatic version of Napoli milionaria by Eduardo De Filippo, who also directs.
Thomas Schippers dies and, in accordance with his wishes, his ashes are buried in May 1979 in Piazza Duomo in Spoleto, a place where the conductor was applauded by the whole artistic world.
In September Romolo Valli resigns and Baron Raffaello De Banfield is appointed artistic director.
The Festival celebrates its “silver anniversary”. The 25th edition opens with Richard Wagner’s Vascello fantasma, directed by Christian Badea and conducted by Franz Marijnen.
Jerome Robbins returns to the Festival after 10 years of absence presenting a great ballet evening with the dancers of the American Ballet Theater directed by Mikhail Baryshnikov, who performs a choreography by Robbins.
The Rocca Albornoziana, which has not yet fully ceased to function as a prison, is used for the first time as a performance venue for Jean Genet’s Vigilanza sorvegliata, performed by the inmates of Rome’s Rebibbia prison.
The new theatre space the Sala Frau is inaugurated in Spoleto with the show Freshwater, featuring Eugène Ionesco among other performers.
After Spoleto and Charleston, Spoleto Melbourne – Festival of Three Worlds opens on the 15th of September.
Francis Menotti is appointed President of the Festival dei Due Mondi.
The new flamenco star Joaquin Cortés performs in Pàsion Gitana.
The Festival turns forty and Luciano Pavarotti, among many others, marks the occasion with Pavarotti in Piazza.
The novelty of this edition is Spoleto Jazz, a great success especially thanks to the presence of the greatest jazz interpreter Betty Carter.
Francis Menotti is appointed artistic director of the Festival dei Due Mondi.
On 1st February Gian Carlo Menotti, founder and creator of the Festival dei Due Mondi, dies in Montecarlo.
Giorgio Ferrara is appointed President of the Festival dei Due Mondi Foundation and artistic director of the Festival.
L’opera da tre soldi marks the start of a fruitful relationship between the Festival and Robert Wilson, who in the later editions has great success with Giorni Felici, L’ultimo nastro di Krapp (2009), Shakespeare’s Sonette (2010), Lulu (2012), The Old Woman (2013), Peter Pan (2014), Letter to a Man (2015), Lecture On Nothing (2016), Hamlet Machine (2017).
Luca Ronconi returns to the festival with his Lessons. His relationship with the festival continues in later editions with Un altro gabbiano (2009), La modestia (2011), In cerca d’autore. Studio sui Sei personaggi (2012), Pornografia (2013), Danza Macabra (2014).
Pina Bausch, due to perform at the 52nd Festival dei Due Mondi with her Bamboo Blues, dies on 30th June. Her company, the Tanztheater Wuppertal, decides to perform on 4 July anyway, offering the audience a moving and unforgettable performance.
The Progetto Accademia is born, with the aim of forging the talents of the future. It features the young actors, directors and playwrights of the Silvio d’Amico National Academy of Dramatic Art.
Giorgio Ferrara’s Mozart’s trilogy opens with Così fan tutte, continuing in 2016 with Le Nozze di Figaro and in 2017 with Don Giovanni. James Conlon conducts and the sets are by Oscar winners Dante Ferretti and Francesca Lo Schiavo.
For the first time on the stage of Piazza Duomo, Riccardo Muti conducts the final concert of the 60th edition of the Festival.
Jean Paul Gaultier overwhelms the audience of the Teatro Nuovo Gian Carlo Menotti with his eccentric and exuberant Fashion Freak Show.
On September 1st, Monique Veaute is appointed artistic director of the Festival dei Due Mondi.