Barriers: they have never been so real like this year; put in place to protect us, but inevitably bound to isolate us – from other people, from experience, also from music. Starting from this realisation, La musica senza barriere (“The music without barriers”) is back: the musicians of the Luigi Cherubini Youth Orchestra – those young people who were most affected by the extended silence created by the regulations closing theatres and concert halls all around Italy – perform in nursing home in town and in the province of Ravenna, in the Monastery of the Carmelite Nuns, in the Prison. From 1 to 30 July, in Ravenna, Alfonsine, Cervia, Lugo, and Russi, a variety of chamber formations – string quartets, brass quartets, sextet and duo, quintet and trio – perform programmes ranging from Telemann to Bach, from Gluck to Mozart, and again Wagner, Rossini, Verdi, Mascagni, Morricone, contemporary composers…While for the opening of Ravenna Festival, its summer residence, the Orchestra brought live music back, with La musica senza barriere the Cherubini musicians bring music where people most suffered. Playing in the gardens and the courtyards, to be listened to from the balconies and the windows; so that no one is a prisoner to silence. The project, endorsed by the Municipality of Ravenna, has been made possible by the support of the Emilia-Romagna Region and the Fondazione del Monte di Bologna e Ravenna.
“This is the good side of Italy,” said Riccardo Muti, speaking of the musicians of the Cherubini Orchestra in the occasion of the Ravenna Festival’s opening concert, on June 21, the feast of music and also the summer solstice; the most luminous day of the year for an act of courage which saw the young musicians on the stage for the opening night of the re-imagined 31st edition of the Festival. But there’s more to it. Again this year the Cherubini Orchestra takes over – morally, and not only artistically – from their conductor and director, with a new edition of the project La musica senza barriere, which in summer 2019 reached the places devoted to volunteers, and the protection and recovery of the weakest. Most recently, during the lockdown, La musica senza barriere turned into music pills, live performances shared on the website and the social accounts of the Alighieri Theatre, to virtually reopen its doors. Starting from July 1, with the proposals selected by the Orchestra’s artistic secretary Carla Delfrate and coordinated by orchestra inspector Leandro Nannini – the chamber music groups will perform in thirteen concerts, mostly in the nursing homes.
Making music together is one of the best examples of civic cohabitation, and one of the concepts upon which Muti builds the work with the orchestra. Why not turn that spirit into the driving force of a project dedicated to those people who cannot enter a theatre or a concert hall?
The 31st edition of the Festival was unexpected: the programme, which for weeks seemed almost impossible to turn into reality, feature over 40 events, 3 venues, 500 guest artists – among them the Cherubini, in 5 different concerts. The connection between the Festival and its Orchestra is even deeper though. On the one hand the Festival means to reach the largest number of people, though in compliance with the current regulations, with lower-than-average prices and the free streaming of the events. On the other hand the Cherubini Orchestra renews its gift to the Festival and the City, turning into its ambassadors to reach even those corners of society which, otherwise, would be excluded from culture and beauty.