Change, renewal and experimentation: all in the pursuit of artistic quality and a direct approach to the widest possible audience. This is the spirit of Ravenna Festival’s Trilogy, from production conceived as stage boxes to be turned night after night, to a mix of the most diverse languages and periods, weaving together theatre and music, dance and poetry, tradition and technology. This year the Alighieri Theatre hosts, from 16 to 22 December, A Trilogy According to Riccardo Muti, a tryptic with the Italian opera at its heart: the tragic lunar lyricism of Bellini’s Norma (16, 19 December) and the heroic longing for freedom that animates Nabucco (17, 20 December) – two semi-staged performances – and an all-Verdi gala featuring refined performers (22 December). At the head of the Luigi Cherubini Youth Orchestra and the Choir of the Teatro Municipale di Piacenza, instructed by Corrado Casati, Muti restores the opera to its purity, distilling its atmospheres and moods on a stage that has been bared to make way for naked interpretation, barely clothed by the chromatic and evocative gesture of young visual artist Svccy. For the gala – symphonies, choruses and arias from La forza del destino, Macbeth, Otello, Il Trovatore, Simon Boccanegra, Don Carlo… – Ildar Abdrazakov, Elisa Balbo, Isabel De Paoli, Rosa Feola, Juliana Grigoryan, Vittoria Magnarello, Luca Micheletti, Piero Pretti, Riccardo Rados take the stage. The 2023 Autumn Trilogy is made possible by the support of the Municipality of Ravenna, the Emilia-Romagna Region, and Italy’s Ministry of Culture, with the contribution of the Fondazione Cassa di Risparmio di Ravenna; Eni is Ravenna Festival’s main partner.
Norma, on Saturday 16 and Tuesday 19 December at 8.30 pm, features Monica Conesa, whose Casta Diva has been appreciated by the Festival’s audience on the occasion of the Roads of Friendship concerts in July; Pollione and Oroveso are Klodjan Kaçani and Vittorio De Campo respectively, whereas Eugénie Joneau plays Adalgisa, Vittoria Magnarello is Clotilde, and Riccardo Rados is Flavio. Nabucco, on Sunday 17 1t 3.30 pm and Wednesday 20 at 8.30 pm, sees Serban Vasile plays the Babylonian king, whereas Abigaille is played by Lidia Fridman and Zaccaria by Evgeny Stavinsky; Francesca Di Sauro is Fenena, while Riccardo Rados plays Ismaele. Adriano Gramigni, Giacomo Leone, and Vittoria Magnarello are the Gran sacerdote di Belo, Abdallo, and Anna respectively. The semi-staged performance, perfectly balanced between the stage action and the concert dimension, is free from didactic intensions and yet imbued with the dramaturgical essence of the musical texture, in full compliance with the compositional dictates. For both titles, at visual artist Svccy’s side are video-programmer David Broccoli and lighting designer Eva Bruno.