THE ITALY OF MUSIC RESTARTS FROM RAVENNA FESTIVAL
Riccardo Muti on the podium for the opening concert on 21 June in the Rocca Brancaleone
The Ravenna Festival brings live concerts back to Italy for the first time since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic, offering much needed cultural hope from the country which suffered so badly at the outbreak of the current crisis. With a re-imagined programme, featuring up to 40 events between 21 June and 30 July, the 31st edition of the Ravenna Festival will be launched with an open air concert led by Riccardo Muti in the city’s 15th century fortress, Rocca Brancaleone. For the opening concert Riccardo Muti will be joined by over 60 members of the Luigi Cherubini Youth Orchestra and soloist Rosa Feola. All regulations on social distancing will be followed for the safety of the artists, staff, and 250 members of the audience – for the latter masks, as well as a staggered access system, will be mandatory.
The concert will open with Rêverie by Alexandr Nikolaevič Skrjabin, followed by Mozart’s Exsultate, jubilate motet K. 165 and Et incarnatus est from the Mass in C minor K. 427, both entrusted to Rosa Feola’s voice. The majestic Symphony no. 41 in C major K. 551 completes the programme, that “Jupiter” symphony Mozart composed in the difficult summer of 1788, marked by increasing economical troubles and a great loss in the family. From a time amongst the darkest of the composer’s life, a luminous symphony was born, capable of raising Mozart’s genius above the daily adversities; its solemn grandiosity inspired the nickname “Jupiter”, likely coined by German impresario Johann Peter Salomon.
Alongside its usual programmes of international guest artists, the Ravenna Festival has always made a point of engaging and supporting the next generation of musicians and, as it is young artists whose livelihoods have been most severely threatened during the pandemic, the festival wanted to ensure that they would be the first to be offered engagements to play. As a result the Luigi Cherubini Youth Orchestra, which was created by Muti in 2004 as a training ground for young Italian professional musicians under the age of 30, will perform in different programmes this summer.
The Ravenna Festival’s very first concert in 1990 took place in Rocca Brancaleone and was conducted by Riccardo Muti. Returning to the same venue almost 30 years to the day under very different and extraordinary circumstances will be an important and emotional moment for all Italians, not least for the close-knit Ravenna community, for whom the festival has played an integral role in their lives.
The 2021 Ravenna Festival is already in planning and it is hoped that audiences from across Italy and the world will be able to return to enjoy music, theatre, opera, dance and much more in one of the country’s most beautiful and friendly cities. At the heart of the 2021 festival programming will be a celebration of Ravenna’s most famous honorary citizen – Dante Alighieri, who lived and died in Ravenna in 1321.
The full list of new programming for this year’s festival will be announced shortly.
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