Ravenna Festival – XXIX EDITION

Written by on March 2, 2018

Founded in 1990 by Cristina Mazzavillani Muti, Ravenna Festival has always been characterized by an artistic programme including all types of performing arts: symphonic and chamber music, opera, drama, dance, ballet, musical theatre, jazz, and ethnic music. Every year from May to July, the entire city becomes a stage for two months: its staggering gilded basilicas, encrusted with ancient mosaics, its elegant historical theatres, its cloisters, ancient buildings, the industrial heritage sites, but also its beaches and its pine forest, where Dante was hosted, and further off, the gently rolling hills peeping from the distant horizon…

These extraordinary places – it is worth remembering here that 8 monuments in Ravenna are UNESCO World Heritage sites – and a multidisciplinary vocation are the distinctive features that make the Ravenna Festival unique and contribute to rediscover a city which used to be a crossroad of peoples and cultures. The Artistic Direction yearly defines a rich programme centred on a culturally and artistically relevant theme.

Many topics have already been dealt with and thoroughly examined: from the most specifically musical themes of the very beginnings (“Salieri and the Vienna School” in 1990, “Around Rossini”, “Bellini and Wagner”, etc.) to the more visionary ones, which projected Ravenna – a subject and an object at one and the same time – into new soulscapes: the Mediterranean, the East, the Apocalypse, visions, deserts and pilgrimages, in a mix of popular and fairy tale, sacred and profane…down to the history of the twentieth century. Over the years the Festival has dealt with crucial events such as the First World War or the Russian Revolution, and paid homage to icons such as Nelson Mandela or Dante Alighieri.

Since 1997, the year of the first historic concert in Sarajevo, the route of the Ravenna Festival has been closely intertwined with “The Roads of Friendship”, a series of lay pilgrimages touching on cities wounded by war, re-establishing ancient ties to places that have made history and building “bridges of brotherhood”. Leading on these paths as a cultural ambassador to the world is Riccardo Muti, with orchestras and choirs that, in line with the spirit of brotherhood that animates these concerts and in the name of the universality of music, have regularly welcomed some local musicians and given life to unforgettable events in such symbolic sites as Beirut, Jerusalem, Moscow, Yerevan, Istanbul, New York, Cairo, Damascus, Nairobi, Mirandola, Redipuglia, Otranto, Tokyo, and Tehran.

We Have a Dream  (June 1 – July 22)

We Have a Dream: the 29th edition of Ravenna Festival (June 1 – July 22) pays homage to Martin Luther King, an icon of the Civil Rights Movements. 50 years after his death, his words offer a chance for a mosaic of themes. On the one hand, the programme runs In the veins of America – the land of dreams par excellence – and on the other it celebrates the resiliency of music in the section The new found song of the lyre. And if this edition – as usual – features world-renowned and most beloved artists, it does not forget the voice of the city itself, whose unique heritage the Festival keeps celebrating. How one could not say A j ò fat un sogn (I had a dream) in the local dialect?

In the Veins of America
The Festival’s journey through pivotal events and icons of the 20th century continues with the homage paid to I have a dream, Martin Luther King’s famous speech, and explores the fundamental contribution of the United States – that great melting pot of cultures, ethnicities, religions, and languages – to music as we know it. Besides the legend of musical Cole Porter, with the masterpiece Kiss Me Kate produced by Opera North, the Festival celebrates another of the most representative and beloved American musicians: in the centenary of his birth, Leonard Bernstein will be remembered with the performance, among the others, of his Second Symphony The Age of Anxiety. The musical programmes will give space to another wholly-American invention, Minimalism, through the works of Terry Riley, Philip Glass, and Steve Reich; but also Keith Jarrett’s Ritual will be performed for the first time in Italy.
Special guests of the “American” section the versatile avant-gard rocker David Byrne, founder and frontman of the Talking Heads, and Thurston Moore, co-founder of the legendary alternative rock band Sonic Youth. Moore, among the best rock guitarists of all times, will take part in the invasion of The 100 Electric Guitars, a rich and varied tribute to the prince instrument of the popular music: a week of solos and mass performances, culminating in an surprise visit to the Delta of the Po river to ideally join it to the Mississippi River. New original pieces have been commissioned to American and Italian composers such as Michele Tadini, Bryce Dessner, Glenn Branca, Christopher Trapani.


More information about the program here: http://www.ravennafestival.org/en/events/?qy=2018

This content comes from the website www.ravennafestival.org/en – © Fondazione Ravenna Manifestazioni

Via Dante Alighieri, 1 | 48121 Ravenna – tel. +39 0544 249211 | fax +39 0544 36303

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