Fabula in Festival
The XXII edition of Ravenna Festival enters the world of fables and until the 9° of July will cover a wide variety of all kinds of performing arts: music, theatre, ballet, readings, cinema with an immense repertoire from ancient to the most innovative artistic languages.
The endless world of fables will be explored, a world from which art has always drawn inspiration for its creations and of which Cinderella and the Magic Flute are prime examples.
Both will be featured in the Ravenna Festival in two unusual versions which confirm the need for these kinds of works in the modern world. The story of the glass slipper lost as the clock strikes midnight has been entrusted to Matthew Bourne, the brilliant British iconoclast and choreographer-director who returns to Ravenna, after the successes of Swan Lake and Dorian Gray, with his Cinderella. A ballet set in London devastated by the bombings of the Second World War – in the same period in which Sergei Prokofiev composed the music – onto which an evocation of the golden age of the Hollywood film industry is grafted.
With The Magic Flute – Impempe Yomlingo, Mozart’s masterpiece becomes instead a musical and from the fantastic Egypt of the original setting it crosses all of Africa. The story of Schikaneder is relived in South Africa in a densely populated suburb of Cape Town oscillating between modernity and the tribal past.
The director Mark Dornford-May (who has already received an award for Carmen in the Xhosa language) comes to us from Africa, without mannerist exoticism, through the eyes of Isango Portobello, a theatre company from Cape Town founded by Dornford-May and the African producer Eric Abraham, which with an orchestra of marimbas offers us a groovy version of Mozart which is perhaps not so far from the musicality of the enfant terrible from Salzburg.
However, the happy Mozartian playfulness also affects the opera by Saverio Mercadante, I due Figaro, or better, the subject of a comedy, which Riccardo Muti proposes as a new link in the project rediscovering the “Neapolitan School” which extends into the 1800s. This opera was composed in Madrid in 1826 on a libretto which Felice Romani had written a few years earlier for the music of Michele Carafa at the Scala and is nothing less than the “sequel” (another typical element of the fable) of the plays by Beaumarchais, where Cherubino, in order to cheat and reveal the machinations of Figaro, assumes the same name. It is an opera that recalls the style of Rossini but pervaded with “Spanish colour” evident from the choice of dances such as the bolero and fandango.
But if the art of narration is the main theme of a series of meetings with important Italian writers, it is not at the expense of great classical music: besides Riccardo Muti, who will also conduct a concert, many great directors will be taking part in the Festival: Claudio Abbado, Kent Nagano, Zubin Mehta, Esa-Pekka Salonen.
Here the full Programme
Booking online available
And if this is not enough to tickle your interest do not forget Ravenna is a treasure chest of art, history and culture of the first order.