Opera Tickets Italy

Baths of Caracalla

Poltronissima, € 72
Settore A, € 48
Settore B, € 36

Rhapsody in Blue, George Gershwin

Rhapsody in Blue, George Gershwin

To mark the centennial anniversary of its premiere, a special performance of Rhapsody in Blue by George Gershwin is to be staged at the Baths of Caracalla, one of Rome's most important ancient sites. Performed as part of the wider summer festival season that takes place at the Terme di Caracalla, as the baths are also known, this rendition of one of Gershwin's most celebrated pieces will be played by the high-quality Orchestra dell’Opera di Roma. Scheduled for 30 July 2024, Wayne Marshall will both conduct the orchestra as well as doubling-up in the capacity of piano soloist.

This one-off event marks 100 years since Rhapsody in Blue was first unleashed on a New York audience at Aeolian Hall on 12 February 1924. Gershwin was just 25 years of age when he wrote this masterpiece. At the time, he had been working on a musical comedy called Sweet Little Devil but he took on a commission to write a jazz concerto for an upcoming concert entitled ‘An Experiment in Modern Music’, the brainchild of a famous bandleader named Paul Whiteman. Gershwin set about producing a piece that would successfully integrate jazz rhythms and blues harmonies into a classical music structure. According to an interview Gershwin's brother, Ira, gave years later, George originally considered naming his new piece American Rhapsody but it was Ira, who had recently been impressed by an exhibition of James Whistler paintings, who came up with the title this exceptional work is known by today.

Wayne Marshall OBE is a British conductor, organist and pianist known for his musicianship and versatility with the baton as well as at the keyboard. From 2014 to 2020, Marshall was the Chief Conductor of WDR Funkhaus Orchestra Cologne. He had previously served as the Principal Guest Conductor of Orchestra Sinfonica di Milano Giuseppe Verdi. In 2018, the conductor recorded a Gershwin CD in Cologne.

The Baths of Caracalla are toured by many visitors to Rome each year but there is no finer way to enjoy them than during a musical performance, particularly one as spell-binding as this. Note that the programme also includes performances of the overture from the musical Girl Crazy as well as pieces from Porgy and Bess and An American in Paris. Additionally, the Three Dance Episodes from Leonard Bernstein’s On the Town will also feature. Given that this is a unique performance in such an auspicious setting, no music fan will want to miss out on the chance to attend this concert.

image Terme di Caracalla / Photo by C.M. Falsini