Honorary President - Ravenna Festival

Honorary President

Cristina Mazzavillani Muti


Was born and lives in Ravenna. After obtaining her diplomas in educational piano music and artistic singing from the Conservatory of Milan, she made her debut in 1967 as the lead singer of the Osteria di Marechiaro of Paisiello conducted by Riccardo Muti. In 1969 she got married and left her career. In 1990 she accepted the invitation of her City to put her cultural experience to good use, organising the Ravenna Festival. She has since then presided over the artistic committee, and since 1997 has been the promoter of the “Le vie dell’amicizia” (The Roads to Friendship) project.

Since 1995 she promotes innovative grand opera “workshops” dedicated to young people.

In 2001, within Ravenna Festival, she directed Bellini’s I Capuleti e i Montecchi, with a structural and extensive use of that cutting-edge technology that will become a distinctive feature of her style. In 2003 she directed Verdi’s Trovatore, while 2008 saw the creation of La Traviata. Verdi’s “popular” trilogy ” was completed in 2012 with a new production of Rigoletto. The three collected works (which would converge in the creation of Echi notturni di incanti verdiani, at Roncole Verdi, Busseto) were staged according to an innovative production module, which made it possible to perform a different show every night on the same stage. In the following year the same thing was applied to Verdi’s “Shakespearian” operas: Macbeth, Otello, and Falstaff.

In 2007, with the direction of the video-opera Pietra di diaspro, the collaboration with Adriano Guarnieri began, followed by the creation and direction of the video-scenic cantata, Tenebrae (2010) and L’amor che move il sole e l’altre stelle (2015). Among other things, she also signed L’ultima notte di Scolacium, on an original score by Piovani (2014). And recently she directed La Bohème as part of a trilogy dedicated to Puccini within Ravenna Festival 2015.

In 2000 she was awarded the Jerusalem Foundation Award and, in 2005, received the honour of Grand Officer of Merit of the Italian Republic by the President of the Italian Republic.