This story will be evoked through music from various sources to reenact events of both human and historical and spiritual importance.
The Middle Ages will be represented by the ensemble Eloqventia millenary chants of Estonian Baltic Heinavanker Ensemble, the voices of Norwegian Trio Mediæval chants of Russian Orthodox Church Orthodox Male Choir of Moscow, directed by Georgy Smirnov.
To emphasize a comparison between the sacred music of the baroque period, Camaldolese Orazio Tarditi (monk just ordered in Ravenna) will be proposed by Season Harmonic and directed by Sergio Balestracci; always baroque, of Eastern Europe, performed by the instrumental ensemble Il Suonar Parlante by Victor Ghielmi. The refined tradition of Sufi spiritual song ‘Ghazal’ will instead be given by the singer in Uzbekistan Monâjât Yulchieva.
Following the paths of spiritual monasticism could not lead anywhere but to Tibet, to which a week of meetings, rituals, ceremonies and events will be dedicated. Beyond the enormous geographical distance, the narrower the link with the celebration of the Camaldolese Monasticism, we know that the true reformer of Tibetan Buddhism was Atisa, a famous Indian monk almost a contemporary of Romualdo, who put in force the rules and requirements of monastic life.
Mandala, sutra and mantra will mark the very heart of the city – which will be colored purple and orange like the robes of the monks – the seven days before the big concert of the Society with the participation of a group of Tibetan monks living in Darhamsala (the Indian location of the Dalai Lama Tenzin Gyatso), the Tibetan nun Ani Choying Drolma and musicians who will interact with mantras such as Markus Stockhausen, Maria Amelia Cuni and Jonas, Stephan Micus, Gregorian Choir Mediae Aetatis Sodalicium women and others.
This is one of the most arcane and mysterious sheet musics of the twentieth century that speaks to us of that awful loud ‘silence of God’ which was so important in northern mythology, by which German Expressionism is radically impregnated. The direction of Sancta Susanna, co-produced with Opera Theatre of Rome, will be directed by Chiara Muti.
A new creation of Micha van Hoecke on music composed between 1937 and 1938 by the Hindemith (the Orchestral Suite from the ballet Nobilissima Visione) will open this intense evening of one of the largest and least known among the musicians of the ’900 , leading us into the core theme of the festival.
This year the Concert of Fraternities will also see Riccardo Muti on the podium together with the Cherubini Orchestra – as has become tradition – with the Italian Youth Orchestra.
Contemporary music is represented at Ravenna Festival by one of its greatest protagonists: the American Steve Reich, one of the “fathers”, recognized as one of the most influential, musical movements “minimalism”.
Reich, who will be exceptionally present in Ravenna where he will speak of his unique aesthetic composition, which will be performed by ECHP Park Contemporary Music Ensemble, directed by Tonino Battista along with two of his masterpieces, Tehillim for voices and ensemble (1981) and City Life for amplified ensemble (1995). Forms even more advanced and experimental research in both sound and image will then be examined in the exhibition “Weird Tales”, organized in collaboration with Bronson Productions.
Dance, even in its more contemporary form, has earned in recent years more and more space within the festival, thanks to a growing public, attentive and demanding. This year there will be three protagonist nations: United States, Brazil and France.
Shen Wei, choreographer and artistic director of the New York-based Shen Wei Dance Arts, in addition to being an accomplished painter, designer, director and photographer, miraculously poised between East and West, is famous for the original vision of his intercultural and interdisciplinary choreographic inventions. In Ravenna two of his best creations such as “Near The Terrace” (inspired by the paintings of Belgian surrealist painter René Magritte) will be presented as well as his personal ‘reading’ of Stravinsky’s masterpiece “The Rite Of Spring”.
Cedar Lake Contemporary Dance, the company founded in 2003 by Nancy Laurie, represents one of the most dynamic and innovative companies in the U.S. and propose two new dance works in the Italian premiere: Violet Kid, the new rising star of Israeli dance Ofesh Shechter, and the Hubbub by Swedish freelance choreographer Alexander Ekman.
The French dancer and choreographer Mourad Merzouki has run since 2009, the National Choreographic Centre de Créteil and the company he founded in 2006 Käfig that combines hip hop with other forms of contemporary dance, continuing collaboration with 11 dancers from Rio de Janeiro after the great success met by Correría and Agwa. Brazilian and French choreographers contribute, under the supervision of Merzouki, the new show Käfig Brasil, which will be presented in Ravenna after the premier in Montpellier Danse.
And of course there is the ballet with a Grand Gala assigned to one of the most renowned European dance companies: the Opera National de Paris.
“Brazil in jazz” pays tribute, first of all, to a legendary figure in Brazilian music: Egberto Gismonti. The ‘two days’, which shows once again the great jazz Rocca Brancaleone, is a real ‘focus’ dedicated to this composer and multi-instrumentalist, a son of a Sicilian and a Lebanese, and with a classical background. The partnerships focus on the “historical” such as the one with percussionist Nana Vasconcelos, who has made the world aware of the berimbau, and who is an extraordinary virtuoso, whose career is full of prestigious collaborations ranging from Don Cherry to Gato Barbieri.
On the second night in addition to Gismonti we will have Hamilton de Holanda and the Trio Madeira. Like Egberto Gismonti, Hermeto Pascoal and Astor Piazzolla, Hamilton veers off from the traditional style with a more jazzy style, but retaining the expressive power of the great. His music is always innovative, his charisma, communicative power and a touch of creativity are impeccable and Hamilton is one of the greatest musicians of importance in the new generation of performers and composers of contemporary Brazilian music.
Considered one of the most famous groups of Brazilian instrumental music of the last decade, Trio Madeira was created by the three virtuosos of Rio de Janeiro: Zé Paulo Becker, Marcello Gonçalves and Ronaldo do bandolim. Rich experiences and different paths, the three musicians gathered around an ambitious art project to play in a sophisticated and warm way.
Once again, St. James Palace in Russia will be the picturesque setting of a long weekend dedicated to expressions of popular music from different regions of the globe.
In the project “Vola vola vola” some of the most famous songs of Francesco De Gregori (together with ‘classical’ tradition of Italian folk), with the complicity of Ambrogio Sparagna, are reinterpreted by the Popular Music Orchestra of the Auditorium in Rome with typical instruments of national folk music. The second evening is dedicated to the Black Taranta and has as its stars Officina Zoe and some amazing African musicians.
A crossover to the South then, for a meeting in which the original and engaging pizzica tarantata meets African rhythms, the frenzy of dialogues with the tambourines-talking drum, the singing griko merges with the oral tradition of the griots of Mali.
Major players in sub-Saharan African music conclude this brief but intense review: Kareyce Fotso, multi-instrumentalist from Cameroon, Dobet Gnahoré, “the black goddess”, singer, dancer and percussionist from the Ivory Coast with an extraordinary power of tradition “Bete” and Aly Keïta, a Malian balafon player, former companion of JoJoe Zawinul.