Music celebrates returning on stage

Riccardo Muti's Giovanile Orchestra will open Ravenna festival

The European music celebrates a restart with the 31st Ravenna festival, which will kick off on 21 June with a concert by the Giovanile Cherubini Orchestra conducted by Riccardo Muti. It is the first festival not directed by Cristina Mazzavillani Muti, who is now honorary president, and features a programme of 40 events running until 30 July, ANSA reported. They will all take place with full respect of the measures imposed due to the Covid-19 emergency, in the open theatre at the Rocca Brancaleone castle.

This was the place that played host to the festival's inaugural concert way back in 1990 and, on that occasion too, Riccardo Muti was the conductor. Just like then, the notes of Mozart will be played, with Symphony No. 41 and some sections sung by the soprano Rosa Feola.

Riccardo Muti and his orchestra, who have always been cornerstones of the festival, will return on 3 July for the traditional concert of friendship between peoples. This year it is dedicated to Syria, and it will be repeated on 5 July at Paestum: Beethoven's Eroica symphony will be performed together with the Syrian National Symphonic Orchestra.

Muti will be back again on 12 July for a programme devoted entirely to Dvorak, featuring the Cello Concert (soloist Tamas Varga, who was the Wiener Philharmoniker's top cello player for a long time) and the From the New World symphony.

The Cherubini Orchestra will be conducted on 28 June by Valery Gergiev, with the Third Concert (pianist Beatrice Rana) and the Pastoral Symphony, a tribute to Beethoven on the 250th anniversary of his birth.

The symphonic programme is completed with the Budapest Festival Orchestra, with founder Ivan Fischer playing the music of Wagner, Britten and Haydn on 1 July.

Presented by Ravenna Manifestazioni Superintendent Andrea de Rosa and Ravenna Mayor Michele De Pascale, the 2020 Festival will spread out into the surrounding province, with events at larger venues at Lugo and Cervia, in order to go over 300-spectator capacity that the Rocca Brancaleone can host at the moment for safety reasons. “Despite the restrictions that have been imposed and the reduced number of places, we have kept prices down, from €5 to €40, so that the public does not have to pay the price of the crisis,” organisers said.

The Ravenna Festival has always been multidisciplinary and once again this year it is opening up to dance, theatre, cinema and the figurative arts. So the programme features the debuts of two productions conceived during the lockdown, Duets and Solos, and Ci sono giorni che non accadono (There are days that don't happen), a piece written by Valerio Cappelli on virtual relations in a time of pandemic, featuring Sergio Castellitto and Isabella Ferrari and music by Ennio Morricone. There will be tributes to three figures who portrayed the essence of Romagna: Federico Fellini, Tonino Guerra and Pellegrino Artusi.

The festival is also preparing a digital platform that will broadcast the events so people can enjoy them for free from home.

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