Spoleto Festival, the Passion of India loves both worlds

Spoleto at the exit under the sign of Philip Glass in a hug between West and East. The 65th edition of the Festival dei Due Mondi began yesterday evening in the charming Piazza del Duomo with the first European performance of the oratorio The Passion of Ramakrishna, commissioned by the Budapest Festival Orchestra, a residency formation of the Festival since last year, directed by Iván. Fischer with the participation of the Santa Cecilia Orchestra Choir and the soloists Maria Stella Maurizi (Sarada Devi) and Peter Harvey (the narrator). Suite n. 4 in D major for Bach orchestra.

Composed in 2006, the score by the master of American minimalism is about the life, death and transfiguration of Sri Ramakrishna, a 19th-century Indian mystic. A happy and international choice, much desired by the artistic director Monique Veaute, suitable to inaugurate the Festival under the sign of the relationship and dialogue between cultures only seemingly distant, last night surrounded by the golden light of the Piazza del Duomo finally full of congratulations. audience to meet and share their emotions as in pre-Covid editions. Ramakrishna’s Passion was first performed in 2006, but had never been performed in Europe until yesterday. Glass’s score is fascinating and very different from his similar works of the 1980s. Here the hand is light, even when there are moments of tension. The Prologue, with its metal fanfare that is not typical of this author and the brutal percussion beats testify that dealing with Ramakrishna forced Glass to look beyond his usual compositional schemes. The option of entrusting the protagonist’s voice to the excellent choir of the Accademia di Santa Cecilia is winning from a musical and poetic point of view. In this way the choral mass gave the impression that Ramakrishna was truly in tune with all mankind.

The execution was overwhelming. The Budapest Festival Orchestra together with its conductor and founder Ivan Fischer confirmed last night that they are synonymous with artistic excellence. The musicians and their conductor offered a masterful test of interpretive cohesion and richness of nuances, fully returning the spiritual inspiration of the score. A decisive role in the success of the evening was the Choir of the Accademia di Santa Cecilia, creator of a capital rehearsal for such a popular repertoire. Prepared as always in an impeccable manner by Piero Monti, the Cecilian group was reactive and willing to the requests of Fischer, a conductor with an innate charisma and personality. The opening day of the Festival was full of events, many of which will continue on the bill in the coming days. For musical theater today and tomorrow at 7pm in San Simone Le Crocodile trompeur / Didon et Enée by French directors Candel and Achache. Based on the baroque opera by Purcell Dido and Aeneas, the show intertwines Shakespeare’s theater and musical drama. To dance at the Teatro Nuovo until Monday, the two-part program Le Sacre du printemps / common ground. Pina Bausch’s choreography is performed by Germaine Acogny’s African dancers. In the same theater, but in another room, every day Le Bal de Paris, an immersive show in augmented reality by the choreographer Blanca Li. On the 30th in Piazza Duomo, the concert of the Portuguese singer Mariza.

The Budapest musicians’ residence in Spoleto, on the other hand, continues at the Caio Melisso Spazio Carla Fendi Theater with a review of chamber music: for today’s noon and tomorrow’s concerts at 12 they perform the new transcript for the Canti ensemble. of distance from Gian Carlo Menotti. in charge of the Festival to Orazio Sciortino to pay homage to the Master of the Two Worlds, while the appointments of this afternoon and tomorrow at the Caio Melisso at 5 pm bring to the stage the serenade in three voices and instruments by Vivaldi Celebrating the Seine, a masterpiece. of the baroque repertoire. More music in Piazza Duomo, on the 30th, with a concert by Portuguese singer Mariza celebrating her 20-year career in Spoleto. A marathon of appointments until the grand final, on July 10, with the concert conducted by Pappano, music by Copland.


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