For health reasons, the Maestro will not conduct the Cherubini Orchestra in the concerts at Teatro Galli in Rimini and at Teatro Alighieri in Ravenna

Maestro Riccardo Muti, following a diagnosis of pneumonia that ruled out a Covid-19 infection, has had to renounce his scheduled concerts at the Sagra Musicale Malatestiana and at the Ravenna Festival, but has turned them into an opportunity for those he guided to discover Verdi’s score. The young conductors he has recently tutored through the seventh edition of the Riccardo Muti Italian Opera Academy, held at the Fondazione Prada in Milan, will replace him on the podium of his Orchestra Giovanile Luigi Cherubini for a selection of pieces from Nabucco in the concerts at the Teatro Galli in Rimini on Saturday, December 18, and at the Teatro Alighieri in Ravenna on Monday, December 20. And if the first Ravenna Festival’s project in 2021 – the streaming tour of Cherubini and Muti – could count on the support of BPER Banca, the latter will participate in the debut of the young conductors chosen by the Maestro, confirming its support of the Festival.

Giuseppe Famularo is 30 years old and was born in Sicily where he graduated in piano, in Palermo, then he trained as a conductor in Milan; 25-year-old Henry Kennedy recently graduated from the Royal Academy of Music in London, and CJ Wu, 35 years old from Taiwan, dedicated herself to the violin before studying conducting in Manchester; while it is in Vienna that 23-year-old Moldavian Cristian Spătaru, also a composer, completed his studies: these are the four young people who will alternate on the podium in Rimini and Ravenna. Alongside the Cherubini Orchestra will be the Cremona Antiqua Choir prepared by Antonio Greco and a vocal cast that includes Serban Vasile as Nabucco, Gabriëlle Mouhlen and Francesca di Sauro as Abigaille and Fenena respectively, Azer Zada (Ismaele), Riccardo Zanellato (Zaccaria), Giacomo Leone (Abdallo), Vittoria Magnarello (Anna) and Andrea Vittorio De Campo (Il Gran Sacerdote di Belo).

Nabucco is certainly the only title that, in the collective imagination, can be summarized in a choral page rather than in a solo aria – after all, Rossini noted that it could not be defined so much as a chorus as “a great aria sung by sopranos, altos, tenors and basses”. It is precisely from the Va’, pensiero that the spark that led both to the composition of that opera and to the entire creative parabola of its author seems to arise: “with this opera one can truly say that my artistic career began,” Verdi affirmed. After a period of profound crisis, both personal (the death of his children and his wife) and professional (the absolute fiasco of Un giorno di regno), the success of Nabucco, staged at La Scala on March 9, 1842, allowed the composer to regain the favour of the audience and impresarios that would grant him the reputation of a national hero.

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