Ravello Music Festival
Italy, 84010 Ravello
The Ravello Festival is also popularly known as the "Wagner Festival" and is an annual festival of music and the arts held in the town of Ravello. The festival has been held yearly since 1953 when the town fathers decided to use the historical fact of the visit to Ravello in 1880 by German composer Richard Wagner as a way to promote tourism and bolster the economy of the area in the difficult years following the Second World War. The composer had been so taken with the beauty of the Villa Rufolo in Ravello that he is said to have proclaimed, in reference to a character in his own opera Parsifal, "Here is the enchanted garden of Klingsor."
Although the original emphasis during the festival was on Wagner's music, the event has since grown into an almost two-month-long presentation of a wide variety of music featuring large orchestras, chamber groups, jazz, art shows, dance, photographic exhibits, discussion groups and a chance to meet and talk with the featured artists, many of whom are of world renown.
Ravello Festival 2014:
The Symphony section of the Festival 2014 is more than important, it is sumptuous: every weekend, the Festival presents a concert by an orchestra always selected among top-rate orchestras in the world, such as the London Symphony Orchestra with Daniel Harding on the podium, the Orchestre National de France conducted by Daniele Gatti, the Lucerne Symphony Orchestra, Wagnerian city par excellence, with violinist Viviane Hagner. Among the younger but equally excellent orchestras the line-up includes the OGI of Fiesole and the Brazilian Neoijba Orchestra, conducted by the extraordinary Martha Argerich, who will perform her personal interpretation of Concerto in G by Ravel. Italy will be also represented by the Orchestra of Genoa’s Teatro Carlo Felice, which will perform at the spectacular and unique and Dawn Concert, and the Philharmonic Orchestra of Turin’s Teatro Regio, conducted by Gianandrea Noseda that will guide the interpretation of an important Wagnerian concert, enhanced by the beautiful voice of soprano Evelyne Herlitzius. Finally, from the East to witness the “global status” of the event, the Festival will host the Qingdao Chinese Orchestra.
However, the Ravello Festival is not only classical music and opera, but also a great opportunity to enjoy prestigious events ranging from pop to jazz, up to ethnic music. In this regard, the 2014 Ravello Festival boasts a prominent line-up: from Dulce Pontes back on the stage for the occasion, and Chick Corea with Stanley Clarke, to important debuts as Israeli Asaf Avidan and Cape Verdean Mayra Andrade, heir to Cesaria Evora, continuing with American Chrysta Bell, scouted by director David Lynch, French composer Alexandre Desplat and Spanish Hevia, with his electronic bagpipes.
Between jazz and contemporary music, the Festival will also host pianist Michel Camilo, the glorious and famous Jean Luc Ponty, the Kronos String Quartet, perhaps the best in the world today in the modern repertoire. Many of the events will give vent and visibility to South Africa and Argentina music, in line with the celebration of the South of the world, including a brand new show that will be presented by Luis Bacalov and Michele Placido in August. The poignant “Memoirs of a slave” by Pamela Villoresi and Baba Sissoko will tell us of South Africa instead. Also the concert “Southern Comfort” by jazz violinist Regina Carter and the study on Pergolesi in jazz by Maria Pia de Vito refer to Southern issues. Finally, from the southern part of Italy this time, also the great Pino Daniele will debut in Ravello this year in an unplugged version inspired by the “South” theme as well, with a moving dedication to his friend Massimo Troisi, twenty years after his death.
Do not miss the everlasting Beatles played by Alessandro Haber during the show “The fool on the hill” and the noble father of international pop Burt Bacharach who we recommend to younger audiences to understand where twenty-first century music comes from.
This year, on the heels of a successful and recent tradition, dance companies propose two shows in August performed by as many American artists: the highly regarded Alvin Ailey II and the amusing Les Ballets de Trockadero.
As every year, the Ravello Festival offers many great visual arts exhibitions and media events such as the one organized by Tony Cragg who, as Mimmo Paladino did in 2013, will turn Villa Rufolo and Piazzale Niemeyer into an open air museum. His exhibition will last until October 31st to underline its importance, considering the difficulty of having the artist’s works available to be admired in public.
We remind you that the venues of the Ravello Festival will be Villa Rufolo, Auditorium Oscar Niemeyer and the gardens of some of Ravello’s hotels.