News, Tips & Bargains : When in Rome, No Summer Opera

Rome's summer opera season has been canceled because of a lack of funds. Spokesman Maurizio Venafro told Reuters news service that Rome's Teatro dell'Opera was struggling with a $33-million deficit and could not afford to stage the shows. He said it was the first time since the end of World War II the season had been canceled.

The cancellation was the second blow to Roman opera after the closure earlier this spring of the ancient Baths of Caracalla, which had been the home of summer open-air opera since 1938.

Heritage Minister Alberto Ronchey said vibrations, heavy equipment and the 170,000 tourists who flocked to the concerts were destroying the site, begun under Emperor Antonius Caracalla and opened in 217 AD.

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