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A2B: “A Touch of Opera” with the Arena di Verona Foundation and Unicredit UK



A2B: “A Touch of Opera” with the Arena di Verona Foundation and Unicredit UK

The Arena di Verona Foundation and Unicredit feature in the third Art to Business (A2B) event

The third Art to Business (A2B) event, “A Touch of Opera”, was held yesterday at the Embassy of Italy in London. The guests were Cecilia Gasdia, formerly a world-renowned opera singer and now the superintendent and artistic director of the Arena di Verona Foundation, and Christian Steffens, the director of Unicredit UK, who discussed the partnership between the music foundation and the banking group. Unicredit has been a primary partner of the Arena’s famous Lyric Festival since 1994, and, thanks to its support, the festival has become one of the most important events in the Italian opera calendar.

The ambassador, Raffaele Trombetta, observed that the collaboration between the two organisations is a prime example of a fruitful alliance between art and business. He noted that actors in the private sector increasingly support creativity in the field of art and the resulting search for new opportunities and channels for resources that allow it to grow even further.

Steffens talked about Unicredit’s long tradition of supporting art and music, particularly opera. He explained that the group holds a sizeable art collection, comprising around 60,000 works. Unicredit recently made the decision to sell part of its collection in order to support young artists and fund other valuable initiatives under its corporate social responsibility programme.

Gasdia spoke about the historic relationship between the Foundation and Unicredit and gave an overview of the Arena’s programme for the summer 2019 season. She urged everyone in the audience to go to Verona and attend a performance at the Arena, saying that not only the show itself but also the audience that fills the Arena every evening make it a unique experience.

The talk was followed by a recital by an ensemble from the arena – Alberto Gazale (baritone), Matteo Lippi (tenor) and Daniela Schillaci (soprano), accompanied by Gasdia on the piano – who performed extracts from Verdi’s La Traviata and Il Trovatore and Puccini’s Tosca.

A2B is a series of events launched by the embassy in November 2018 to examine how economic, banking and financial operators support Italian creatives and how the art world reciprocates this support through its economic and reputational impact.

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