Institutional Story

The Rossini Opera Festival is an autonomous body (ente autonomo) promoting international opera festival performances, going under the same name, entirely devoted to Gioachino Rossini. Its aim is to revive, to perform on stage and to study the musical heritage connected with the composer, who, by leaving all his considerable fortune to the town council of Pesaro, gave birth to the Conservatory of Music and the Foundation that bear his name today.


The Rossini Opera Festival was instituted in 1980 by the town council of Pesaro with the intention of backing up and developing, by means of theatrical performances, the scientific work of the Rossini Foundation: this has given birth to a unique multi-disciplinary workshop of applied musicology, aiming at the revival of all Rossini's lesser-known works through musicological research, theatrical performance and publication.


The development and growth of the event has also been made possible thanks to the financial contributions of public and private bodies, such as the Ministero dello Spettacolo e dei Beni Culturali (the government ministry responsible for cultural and archaeological activities), the Regional governmental board of the Marche, the Provincial government of Pesaro and Urbino, banks such as the Cassa di Risparmio di Pesaro (now re-named UBI Banca) and the Banca Popolare Pesarese (now re-named Intesa Sanpaolo), not to mention the local Pesaro industrial firm Scavolini, for more than thirty years a contributor.


For the first five years the Rossini Opera Festival was under the direct control of the Pesaro town council, but then in 1985 it was declared an ente autonomo supported by the local town and provincial governments of Pesaro.


As from April 1994 the Festival has been legally denominated a Foundation, whilst still keeping its original name. The new organisation is supported by the Pesaro town council, the Province of Pesaro and Urbino, the Fondazione Cassa di Risparmio di Pesaro, the Banca Popolare dell'Adriatico (now Intesa Sanpaolo) and the Scavolini Foundation. In this new institutional guise the governing body, of whom the Mayor of Pesaro is chairman, is nominated by an assembly of the founder members.


The sovrintendente is appointed by this same assembly; his is the responsibility for artistic appointments and decisions, in which he is able to call upon the collaboration of the artistic director. The Rossini Foundation is the Festival's internal guarantee of musicological standards.


On the 20th December 2012 parliament approved Law N. 238, which includes the Rof in the restricted group of "musical and operatic festivals of great international prestige". A legislative decision such as this underlines the interest that the State has always evinced in the Rof's restoration of Rossini's works, officially included among the operations that govern the artistic heritage of our country ever since Law N. 319/13 of August 1993: "Regulations in support of the Rosssini Opera Festival", which was subsequently confirmed when transmuted into the current Law N. 237/12 of July 1999.


The Rossini Opera Festival is a member of Italiafestival and Opera Europa, and enjoys the patronage of the President of the Italian Republic.