1 – Activities and Timetable of the Competition


11:00 – 18:00: Welcome and registration of the Choirs (Theatre Novelli)

15:00: Choral Competition (Class E – Sacred Music – Church of Santa Maria dei Servi)

21:00: First non-competitive Concert for choirs class D and E (Theatre Novelli)


Morning and Afternoon: Welcome and registration of the Choirs (Theatre Novelli)

9:30: Choral Competition (Class A – Equal Voices Choirs – Theatre Novelli)

15:00: Choral Competition (Class D – Folk, Gospel, Spiritual – Theatre Novelli)

21:00: Second non-competitive Concert for choirs classes A and C (Theatre Novelli)


9:30: Choral Competition (Class C – Children and Youth Choirs – Theatre Novelli)

17:30: Sung Service at the Rimini Cathedral

21:00: Additional Concert in Riccione, for three selected choirs from ‘Children and Youth Choirs Category’

21:00: Third non-competitive Concert for choirs class B (Theatre Novelli)


9:30: Choral Competition (Class B – Mixed Choirs – Theatre Novelli)

17:30: Social party and meeting with the Jury (Conductors and 2 representatives of each choir)

21:00: Choral Competition (Class X – Grand Prix) – Awarding and Closing Ceremony – Theatre Novelli


2 – Sung Service at the Church of St. Agostino – Map

The first 10 Choirs selecting this option as one of the activities on the entry form may sing all together a Mass at the Church of St. Agostino, directed by Andrea Angelini, on Saturday afternoon 22nd September 2018 at 16:30. The repertoire and the music scores of the programme is available here. The Sung Service at the Church of St. Agostino is one of the most intensive moment of the Competition. This church is worth visiting for various reasons; the architecture of the large auditorium was transformed with precious stuccoes, ancones and frescoes in the 17th and 18th centuries, although the general structure and its tall bell tower date from the 13th century.Furthermore, the apsidal part houses two wonderful cycles of frescoes by the “14th-century School of Rimini”. The bell tower chapel narrates the life of the Virgin Mary and the apse the life of John the Evangelist, whilst on the far end wall there is a mighty Enthroned Christ and a majestic and gentle Virgin with Child. The decorations in this church, probably by 14th-century Rimini-based artists, perhaps the brothers Giovanni, Giuliano and Zangolo, active in the early decades of the century, also include a Crucifix painted on a wood panel, now on the right wall of the nave and a large, fragmented fresco of the Last Judgement, now housed in the Municipal Museum.By ideally reuniting and positioning these works we have an idea of the “educational” and catechetical function those responsible for creating them and those who commissioned them sought to achieve and the spirituality of the message transmitted through the painted figures.



3 – The ‘sacred venue’ of the Competition Church of St. Giovanni Battista – Map Via XX Settembre 87 – Rimini

A church of very ancient origins, and one of Rimini’s largest and most important. Erected in 1625 on a site previously occupied by the Carmelites, it was rebuilt by Gaetano Cupioli in 1767-72. The interior, with a single nave, is elaborately decorated with stucco ornaments by Antonio Trentanove in 1770. The many precious works of art here include, in the first chapel on the right, a “holy Trinity, Virgin and Patrons of Rimini” (1611) by Cosimo Piazza, above the second altar a “Sermon of John the Baptist’ by Andrea Boscoli, above the third altar a “Martyrdom of St Gaudentius” (1794) by G. Soleri Brancaleoni, above the first altar a “Madonna in Glory with Saints (1630), a juvenile masterpiece by Guido Cagnacci, and on the high altar a crucifix that was once kept at the San Gaudenzo Sanctuary.



4 – The ‘secular venue’ of the Competition Teatro Ermete Novelli – Map Via Cappellini 3 – Rimini 

On the 27th March 1895 the Town Council decided to build a brick stage in the centre of the Racetrack, between the beach and the harbour. The measure was deemed necessary to attract the foremost theatre and variety companies during the tourist season, some of which, in the past, had declined the invitation because of the precariousness of the existing stage. The venue for various types of shows had long been placed temporarily in the area near the Kursaal, and when the Town Council decided to build a stable structure here the history of the theatre began. It was originally named “Arena al Lido” and later “Teatro Ermete Novelli”. For over a decade this “friendly fairground booth” built entirely of wood, mounted in June and dismantled at the end of the season, became one of the most important summer evening venues, contending the audience with the other two focal points for entertainment in Rimini: the Kursaal and the Pier. The Arena al Lido was the property of the Town Council, but – like all the other tourist attractions in Rimini – it was run by the “Società Anonima Bagni”, the company which managed the bathing establishments.  In 1911 the Arena al Lido ran the risk of closure as it did not conform to public safety standards. Over the years, the entire structure had become worn and shaky. Under these conditions the theatre, now decrepit, was taken over by Ermete Novelli. This great star performer decided to carry out a series of important works of restoration and embellishment. On the 10th August the newspaper “Momento”, commenting on the work done by the artist, wrote: “Mr. Ermete Novelli has worked one of his usual miracles: he has given new life to a dead structure”. And a few days later the people of Rimini, grateful for his intervention, decided to name the theatre after him. The official baptism took place on the 29th August 1911, with a comedy interpreted by Novelli himself, after a series of very successful performances. That evening Count Carlo Biancoli, the chairman of SAB, took the stage to thank publicly, on behalf of the people of Rimini, the famous star of the show, and to thunderous applause from the audience he re-named the theatre “Politeama Ermete Novelli.” Under the direction of the famous actor the theatre near the beach became a focal point for the best Italian theatre companies and for displays of elegance and worldly pleasures. The war closed this fascinating chapter of history. On the 30th January 1919 Ermete Novelli died and the theatre by the sea was taken over by the company which managed Rimini Politeama. After the war, and four years of deplorable neglect, the theatre no longer offered any guarantee of safety: the framework was corroded and the seating precarious, and the whole building threatened to collapse at any moment. The new management patched up the structure as best they could, and the theatre came to life once more: for the next six seasons the calendar of the Novelli Theatre entertained its fans once more. But in August 1925 the one-time “friendly fairground booth,” now “a rotting carcass”, was demolished. After 10 years, in the same area, a new theatre was built, again named after Ermete Novelli. This building, modern, functional and in “sober and elegant” twentieth-century style, was built throughout in reinforced concrete and could seat 1,500 people between stalls and gallery. Designed and built by surveyor Oddo Rondini and by engineer Enrico Del Piano, the new theatre filled the huge gap in the artistic and recreational life of the seaside part of the city. The major Italian companies came once more to perform at the new Novelli Theatre and for some years the city of Rimini was once more a venue for enthusiastic audiences and  all the pomp and elegance of the times of the old “Arena al Lido” were renewed.  The theatre miraculously survived the carpet bombings of 1943 and ’44, although there was some damage to the stage. For two years it was occupied by the Allies and used to entertain the occupying troops; in the summer of 1945 a modest opera season took place and in 1946 there were several variety shows. In 1947 the theatre was returned to the city. Without any explanation whatsoever, the Allies returned the Theatre in a filthy and severely damaged state: the roof, ceiling, windows, walls and decorations were devastated; boxes and seats were beyond repair; the electrical system was completely destroyed, and all the scenic equipment had disappeared. That same summer, after substantial restoration work, the Novelli Theatre opened again to the public and began once more to fulfill its role as the artistic, cultural and recreational centre of the seaside part of the city.