The Opera Barga Festival is an annual opera festival held in July in the town of Barga,Italy. Founded in 1967 by Peter Gellhorn and Lorenzo Malfatti, its performances take place in the late 18th Century theatre, Teatro dei Differenti which seats 289. (Between 1982 and 1998, the theatre was taken over by the town administration and closed for renovations.)
The main artistic aim of the festival is to perform works from the Baroque era - in addition to modern operas - and, since its inception, it has staged more than 40 operas, many being heard for the first time in modern times. The performers are young musicians taking part in the festival's summer school. Past participants have included the Welsh operatic tenorDennis O'Neill, and the bass-baritone, John Del Carlo.
Vivaldi's operas play an important role in this festival. In 2005, his totally unknown opera,Motezuma, was due to have been performed. The score had been discovered in Kiev in theUkraine as part of the collection of the Sing-Akademie zu Berlin which had been looted towards the end of World War II. Due to a complex copyright dispute, a German court issued an injunction to prevent the performance, and substitute music from other Vivaldi operas was presented along with the original text.[