Kiss Me, Kate at the Ravenna Festival

Kiss Me Kate goes international! 

In a national first for Italy, we took Opera North’s Kiss Me, Kate to the world-renowned Ravenna Festival.

For three nights in June, the Kiss Me, Kate cast delighted the Italian audience in the Alighieri Theatre as part of the annual Ravenna Festival.

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The Ravenna Festival

Since 1990 the city of Ravenna has transformed itself into a festival championing the arts. No wonder it’s known as such a champion of culture as it also homes 8 UNESCO monuments!

From June until July and again from November until December, Ravenna welcomes artists from all genres from symphonic to chamber music, from opera to theatre, from dance to musicals and from jazz to ethnic music. If you like music, theatre and opera then this festival has it all.


Kiss Me Kate

For over 350 years the Alighieri Theatre has hosted opera and theatre productions.

This year the stunning theatre welcomed the cast of Kiss Me, Kate for three nights.

Excitement was high, not only because this show where Shakespeare meets Cole Porter is so good, but also because it was the first time Kiss Me, Kate had been performed in Italy.

Packed with toe-tapping tunes such as ‘Another Op’nin, Another Show’, ‘Too Darn Hot’ and ‘So in Love’, the show brought together musical theatre artists, dancers, and opera singers. In addition to Ravenna, it was performed at Leeds Grand Theatre, the London Coliseum in the West End, and the Festival Theatre in Edinburgh.

The praise from the Italian press to this highly anticipated show added another string to the Kiss Me, Kate team’s bow.


The first outing in Italy was undoubtedly a triumph for everyone involved.


3 days

No. of Trucks

8 trucks (at 45-foot)

Additional Services

Over 1,700 miles and 19 hours of truck travel time


Italy (Leeds to Ravenna)

The crew

Here’s a look at who was involved in the crew.

Music and lyrics  Cole Porter
Booklet Bella and Samuel Spewack 
Critical edition David Charles Abell and Seann Alderking 
Conductor James Holmes 
Director Jo Davies
Revival Director Ed Goggin
Set and costume designer Colin Richmond 
Choreography Will Tuckett 
Associate choreographer David James Hulston 
Lighting designer Ben Cracknell
Sound Autograph Sound
Transport Stagefreight
Orchestra and Chorus of Opera North 

A scene from Kiss Me Kate by Cole Porter @ Grand Theatre, Leeds. An Opera North and Welsh National Opera Production.

Kiss Me Kate big cast scene

Steve Hodgkinson, Opera North’s Head of Stage, said:

Kiss Me, Kate is an all-singing, all-dancing show, and is a huge production to move around the country and overseas. Taking it to Italy was a major task with eight 45-foot trailers required to transport the scenery, props, lighting and sound, costumes, instruments and orchestra equipment.


We obviously had to take into account the different restrictions which operate in an Italian town, particularly during a busy festival. Luckily, it ran incredibly smoothly, with Stagefreight supporting us every step of the way.

Discover more of Opera North’s brilliant shows on their website.

And if you’ve got a show to put on the road, take a closer look at our event transport services.

Kiss Me Kate dance scene
©Tristram Kenton 2018

(Please note all images used are with permission from the production team)

Kiss Me Kate modern setting dialogue scene