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The Arts Intel Report

A Cultural Compass
For the World Traveler
A Cultural Compass
For the World Traveler

Una trilogia seconda Riccardo Muti

Riccardo Muti

Dec 16–22, 2023
Via Angelo Mariani, 2, 48121 Ravenna RA, Italy

In his annual Italian Opera Academy, Riccardo Muti immerses young conductors of exceptional promise and the instrumentalists of the Luigi Cherubini Youth Orchestra (founded by Muti in 2004) in traditions that go back in an unbroken line to Giuseppe Verdi and beyond. This year’s curriculum revolved around Norma, Bellini’s tale of the Druid priestess who sleeps with a Roman enemy. Verdi’s Biblical blockbuster Nabucco—concerning the Babylonian monarch the King James Bible calls Nebuchadnezzar—was the focus of a previous academy. Now, Muti revives both titles in his hometown of Ravenna, the ancient capital of the Western Roman Empire, crammed with Unesco World Heritage sites not to be missed between performances at the neoclassical Teatro Alighieri. As the third attraction of Muti’s impromptu trilogy, a Verdi gala is the cherry on the cake. Don’t expect household names in the casts. But under Muti’s tutelage, they will have been prepared to a fare-thee-well for serious careers. In an experimental departure, the operas will be presented on a bare stage with projections intended to focus the listener not on external trappings but on the soul of the art form: the words and the music. —Matthew Gurewitsch

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