PRESS RELEASE Venice, 18 April 2013
“The Spirit of Music in Venice” Festival 21 June – 24 August 2013
After the success of the Pre-Festival that put to the test the organisational strategies and public reaction in July 2012, from 21 June to 24 August 2013 Venice will be the venue for the first edition of the Festival “The Spirit of Music in Venice”, conceived and curated by the Fondazione Teatro La Fenice together with the Regione del Veneto, the Municipality of Venice, and the Venice Chamber of Commerce, under the patronage of the Ministry for Cultural Heritage and Activities.
With this reference to the “spirit of music" in Venice, the Festival wants to re-propose the outstanding patrimony of Venice music with renewed attention, both as a historical sound object, and as a material that is open to new, stimulating performance modes, ready to become the stimulus for new creations, productions, performances and happenings. This festival is therefore the reflection of a Venice founded on the characteristics of its past so it becomes an international open, "sound" workshop, extending towards the third Millennium.
Protagonists of the event are soloists, orchestras and groups of Venetian and international chamber music who have helped keep alive the music tradition of Venice; the performances will take place in all historical music venues in Venice, transforming the city into one huge stage, with different spatial and temporal dimensions. In addition to the venues of Teatro La Fenice and Teatro Malibran, other concerts will take place in St. Mark’s Square, in the Courtyard of the Doge's Palace, the Basilica of Saint Mark and in many Venetian palazzi and churches, the historical venues of important world premières, including Palazzo Contarini Polignac, the Basilica dei Frari, and the Church of the Pietà.
The Festival begins on 21 June at Teatro La Fenice with Madama Butterfly, Giacomo Puccini’s ‘Japanese’ opera, with a highly interesting production that marks the beginning of a partnership between La Fenice and the Art Biennale. Sets and costumes will be by Mariko Mori, one of the most interesting contemporary Japanese artists and the author of installations that were inspired by the intersection of ancient Japanese cultural traditions and the most sophisticated contemporary media. Conducted by Omer Meir Wellber with direction by Alex Rigola, the opera is part of a special project in the 55th International Art Exhibition, offering itself as the paradigmatic example of the possibility of reflection on contemporary times, starting with melodrama.
On stage from 21 to 30 June, Madama Butterfly will be the first of the events, reaching its peak in July with four important initiatives at Teatro La Fenice and, outdoors, in the Courtyard of the Doge's Palace.
In fact, the highlight of the festival will be on 10, 14 and 17 July with Otello, Giuseppe Verdi’s last but one operatic masterpiece, performed against the backdrop of the Courtyard of the Doge's Palace, as the perfect setting for its fifteenth-century plot. Reinterpreted through Shakespeare’s universal eyes, the allusion to the splendour of the Venetian Republic is enriched with the memory of the historical production with Mario Del Monaco in the 1960s in the Palace Courtyard, which made Venice a world stage with the interest it aroused in the art world and media. For the first time since 1966 this successful tradition is to be revived this year with a production that was conceived in November 2012 by the director Francesco Micheli, set designer Edoardo Sanchi and costume designer Silvia Aymonino, as the opening opera for the 2012-2013 season - and recently revived on the successful 2013 Japan tournée, - and for outdoors, under the starlit sky of the Courtyard in the Doge’s Palace. The Korean maestro Myung-Whun Chung will conduct La Fenice Orchestra and Choir and a prestigious international cast, and the Serbian filmmaker Emir Kusturica will be in charge of the creation of a 3D film of the performance.
On 16 July La Fenice will be the venue for one leg of the European tournée of Keith Jarrett, one of the great names of jazz worldwide, celebrating the 30th anniversary of his partnership with Gary Peacock, bass and Jack DeJohnette, drums.
On 19 July, straight after Otello Myung-Whun Chung will conduct another concert in honour of Giuseppe Verdi marking the bicentennial of his birth, once again in the Courtyard of the Doge's Palace, with his Messa da Requiem, soloists are the soprano Hui He, mezzo soprano Daniela Barcellona, tenor Fabio Sartori and bass Ildar Abdrazakov.
On 21 July La Fenice will host a great dance with an international Gala of the best pupils from the most important dance academies, including the Royal Ballet School of London, the École de Danse de l’Opéra of Paris, the John Cranko Schule of Stuttgart, the Académie de Danse Princesse Grace of Monaco, the Vaganova Academy of Saint Petersburg and the Escuela Nacional de Danza of Havana.
A much awaited concert of religious music in the Basilica of Saint Mark and a concert of Baroque music in the Scuola Grande di San Rocco are other highlights in the Festival, which includes a dozen other initiatives in other historical places of music in Venice, ending on 24 August with a concert of Baroque music in the outstanding natural setting of Cortina d'Ampezzo in the Dolomites.