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Between tours and festivals, the long summer of Santa Cecilia

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Tour in Italy and abroad, participation in four festivals including Spoleto, concerts in the Cavea of ​​the Auditorium Parco della Musica in Rome, first performances of today’s pieces, great sticks and great performers. It is the summer of the National Academy of Santa Cecilia which includes 16 concerts from July to September, the first of which is next Saturday in Spoleto with the opening of the Festival dei Due Mondi which sees the Cecilian Choir and the Budapest Festival Orchestra conducted by Ivan Fisher in the oratorio, for the first European performance, ‘Passion of Ramakrishna’ by Philip Glass. But that of the ‘Two Worlds’ of Spoleto is not the only festival in which the Cecilian teams participate, which this year will be at the Ancient Theater of Taormina, for the forty years of the review (15 July) with Myung-Whun Chung on the podium for Beethoven’s Sixth and Seventh. Same program and same director at the Sferisterio in Macerata (21 July) and at Villa Rufolo in Ravello (23 July). “The presence in the various Italian festivals shows that we are now a national orchestra that crosses the boot”, observes the superintendent of the Academy, Michele dall’Ongaro, recalling that “they have been inviting us for a long time and this is the first year that we have been present at almost all the festivals. The orchestra has grown thanks to Antonio Pappano who has been conducting it for 18 years now, but also thanks to prestigious conductors such as Chung and Gatti who have a privileged relationship with Santa Cecilia. forming an orchestra requires tours, chamber music, competitions, records – and today we have 32 of them with Pappano – and great conductors who return cyclically. The great orchestras have these things in common “. The results can be seen: after the pandemic, with the reopening at the beginning of the 2021-2022 season there was a 25% drop in spectators, now back. “We have a theater with almost three thousand seats to fill for three nights a week, which means about nine thousand spectators a weekend, a huge number, but the season tickets are doing well, although I am convinced that it will take two years to return to normal”, explains the superintendent of the Accademia di Santa Cecilia whose Board of Directors today saw the return of the mayor, Roberto Gualtieri, among the councilors, after the ‘vacatio’ of Raggi during his mandate. , after June 24, July 2, again in Spoleto, the Orchestra will perform, as the resident ensemble of the Festival dei Due Mondi. In the double role of soprano and conductor Barbara Hannigan, artist with extraordinary flexibility, will play the role of Elle, the only protagonist of La voix humaine by Poulenc. The Metamorphosen by Richard Strauss for 23 solo strings will precede the performance of La voix humaine. It is the same “Elle” who sings and directs Poulenc to lead Strauss’s solemn reflection on the transcendence between the worldly and the divine. On 10 July the Santa Cecilia Orchestra will perform under the direction of its musical director Antonio Pappano in the final concert in Piazza Duomo, the key event that closes the curtain of each edition of the Festival. Barbara Hannigan accompanies him on this evening as the soloist of Samuel Barber’s ‘Knoxville: Summer of 1915’. The suggestions from overseas, a theme that crosses the Two Worlds of the 2022 programming, are also echoed in the second part of the concert with the performance of the “American” symphony par excellence, the Terza by Aaron Copland. ‘Orchestra dell’Accademia di Santa Cecilia will be back on stage with three concerts scheduled respectively at the Greek Theater of Taormina (where it last performed in June 1953 with Sergiu Celibidache on the podium), at the Sferisterio in Macerata (where will perform for the first time) and at Villa Rufolo in Ravello (last presence July 2010). Directed by Myung-Whun Chung, in these three off-site events the Orchestra will interpret two of Ludwig van Beethoven’s greatest symphonic masterpieces, Symphonies n. 6 and n. 7. On July 15, on the same date as the concert that the Orchestra will hold in Taormina, the Accademia Choir will perform in the Cavea of ​​the Auditorium Parco della Musica Ennio Morricone. On the program, the famous Carmina Burana by Carl Orff, in the version for solos, choir, percussion and two pianos, conducted by Piero Monti. The second and last appointment of the Choir is scheduled for July 21st. On this occasion the Academy hosts the National Conservatory Orchestra and the Carabinieri Music Band. The program, almost entirely composed of music by Russian authors, includes the Polovesian Dances of Borodin, the Italian Capriccio and the Waltz from Evgenj Oneghin by Tchaikovsky and the Suite from “Pulcinella” by Stravinskij. The ‘Dance of the Hours’ from Ponchielli’s ‘Gioconda’ will open the evening. After a short summer break, the Orchestra’s activity will resume with concerts abroad as part of prestigious festivals. First appointment on August 27, as part of the Beethovenfest, at Oper Bonn, in Beethoven’s hometown, where the Santa Cecilia Orchestra performed the last time in 1965 (on the occasion directed by Fernando Previtali), while the second appointment is scheduled for the following day, Sunday 28 August, at Kultur und Kongresssaal Luzern (KKL), the famous 1850-seat hall designed by Jean Nouvel and inaugurated in 1998. In Bonn the program includes the first German performance of ‘Repression’ , the piece by composer Yikeshan Abudushalamu (1985) winner of the 2019 Berio Competition promoted by the National Academy of Santa Cecilia, while Gioachino Rossini’s Sinfonia dell’Italiana in Algeri will be performed in Lucerne. In both cities, Maurice Ravel’s poem for voice and orchestra Shéhérazade will follow, with the participation of mezzo-soprano Elīna Garanča in her debut with the Orchestra of the Accademia di Santa Cecilia conducted by Antonio Pappano, and the symphonic suite Shéhérazade by Nikolaj Rimsky-Korsakov. New program, however, for the two concerts of the following week which will be held at the Elbphilharmonie in Hamburg (also conducted by Pappano), on September 4th, and at the historic Philharmonie in Berlin, the “home” of the Berliner Philharmoniker on September 5th. On the program Notte transfigurata (Verklärte Nacht) by Arnold Schönberg, in the version for string orchestra, and a piece of rare performance such as the Concerto for piano, male choir and orchestra op. 39 by the Italian-German composer Ferruccio Busoni (1866-1924) who will see Igor Levit on the keyboard. Upon returning from Germany, the Orchestra will resume rehearsals for the last three appointments that will precede the inauguration of the new season 2022-2023 which will take place on 18 October with Richard Strauss’s ‘Elektra’ conducted by Antonio Pappano. In fact, the Santa Cecilia Orchestra, guest of the MiTo Festival, will perform on September 16 at the Dal Verme Theater in Milan and the following day at the Lingotto in Turin. The programs and the concert director will be announced in the coming days. The last appointment of this long summer on tour is scheduled for October 1st in Bratislava, where the Cecilian team has been missing for nine years. Juraj Valčuha, musical director of the San Carlo in Naples and regular guest of Santa Cecilia, will go up on the podium to conduct the piece by the Slovak composer L’ubica Čekovská (1975), ‘Turbulence for Orchestra’ (performed as a world premiere in London in 2000 by Royal Academy Symphony Orchestra conducted by Edward Gardner), Messiaen’s ‘Hymne’, Debussy’s three “symphonic sketches” of La Mer and Prokofiev’s Second Piano Concerto with Uzbek pianist Bezhod Abduraimov.

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