When I was a student, Bologna was just an eight hour night-train ride from my university town in Germany. One year, I had friends doing an exchange with the University of Bologna and I used to come here a few times for long weekends. This was more than ten years ago, and I was very happy to come back.
Of all the old Italian cities, Bologna is the least invaded by tourists. It probably lacks the attraction of a world-famous art collection, but the historic centre of the city is as beautiful as one could wish for and the absence of big tourist crowds makes it even more authentic. The people are unbelievably friendly and hospitable and, as one would expect, the food absolutely wonderful.
Bologna also happens to be the home of the most important Italian artist management companies. During an afternoon of auditions yesterday I had a chance to catch up with the managers and hear their artists.
For a few years the situation for cultural organizations in Italy has become more and more difficult because of severe cuts in government support that leave most companies exposed to dealing with serious budget problems mostly caused by the obligation to continue paying tenured staff. Developing new revenue streams has proven to be difficult, mostly because of the total absence of a culture of tax credits for individual giving. In the homeland of opera one of the country's biggest companies in Genova is about to close and rumours say that Bologna might be next. I hope the performance of La Traviata I attended yesterday will not be the last I will ever see in the beautiful Teatro Communale.
Today I am off to Frankfurt in Germany to see the last performance on this European trip.
Posted by Alexander Neef / in Travel / comments (0) / permalink
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