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Monday, March 06, 2006

Ravello Music Festival

Each year, without fail, music lovers have heated discussions about the legitimacy of open air concerts, interspersed as they are by sounds and noises extraneous to the music. But, for the concerts in Villa Rufolo, the complete pleasure for the ears and for the eyes wins over the sceptics, since any imperfection for the first is amply compensated by the magnificence offered to the second. As Gore Vidal delicately noted "often, when the orchestra plays Wagner, the full moon rises from the mountains towards the east, its form racalling a dragon with its head gently reclined on the beach, while the smaller birds of Ravello, musically well-educated after all these years, sing counterpoint in the dark pines on high".

In over half century the stage boldly projecting towards the sea has hosted a variety of great orchestras like the Dresden Staatskapelle and the Munchner Philharmoniker, the Royal Philharmonic and the London Symphony Orchestra, the Kirov Theatre of Leningrad and the Gewandhaus of Leipzig, the Orchestra Nazionale della Rai and that of Maggio Musicale, the Orchestre National de France and the London Philharmonia; chamber groups like the Chamber Orchestra of Europe and the Camerata Academica del Mozarteum, the Trio di Trieste and the Quartetto Italiano; conductors likeAshkenazy, Barbirolli, Chung, Davis, Fruhbeck de Burgos, Gerviev, Jarvi, Maazel, von Matacic, Mehta, Pretre, Sanzogno, Scherchen, Semkow, Sinopoli, Spivakov, Tate, Termirkanov and Tilson-Thomas; soloists like Argerich, Asciolla, Campanella, Canino, Cascioli, Cassado, Chang, Ciccolini, Kempff, Lupu, Rampal, Rostropovich, Ughi and Weissenberg and jazz players like Caine and Hancock; not forgetting singers of the calibre of Behrens, Christoff, Cura, Domingo, Jerusalem, Raimondi, Salminen and Urmana.

On his arrival at Villa Rufolo in 1880, Richard Wagner found both inspiration for the scenography of Act 2 of Parsifal and ideas for improving the whole musical architecture of his ultimate masterpiece. The orchestral concerts that have been held in the Villa for over 50 years are a worthy tribute to this inspiration. Giuseppe Verdi was another guest at Villa Rufolo; Grieg stayed in the Albergo Toro; outstanding conductors and performers – from Bruno Walter to Toscanini, Stokowski to Kempff, Bernstein to Penderecki, Prêtre to Maazel – have all stayed and made music here. The musical vocation remains at the heart of the intense cultural life in Ravello: the "Scuola di perfezionamento musicale" directed by Michele Campanella, the Ravello Concert Society directed by Pasquale Palumbo, the "Concerts at midnight" organised with Alessio Vlad as artistic advisor, the world-famous concerts of the Villa Rufolo Music Festival organised under the guidance of Roman Vlad, and the “Città di Ravello” Orchestra managed by Elio Macinante, have all been responsible for emotional highlights in each summer season.

Ravello Festival Box Office

Ravello, Via Roma 10-12
Tel e fax +39 089 858422
Open:- until June18th from Monday to Friday: 3pm-8pm- from 18 June to 18 September everyday: 10am-8pm On performance days the Box Office stays open until doors are closed.
Box office on lineTickets can be bought on line from

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