Normality begins to return to both Italy and the world, as events begin again. John Bensalhia looks at some of the most notable ones to be announced for July...
This month's collection of events sees the start of a return to normality. Events will now be available to attend in person – although with some caveats. The most important aspect of the events is that of safety. Strict safety rules are to be in place for all events. Masks are to be worn. Social distancing is paramount. Regular cleansing will be occurring. All of these add up to peace of mind when attending these events. While the dates below stand at the moment, keep checking the websites in case of any further changes to the schedules.
1st - 6th July 2020
The 10th edition of the Rendez-Vous with New French Cinema in Rome event is one of the first to be held in public since the Covid-19 virus forced closure of public events.
Kicking off the month at the Nuovo Sacher Arena (director, producer, writer and actor, Nanni Moretti's outdoor cinema), this year's event has a feminine theme. This will be seen in the presentation of five award-winning movies directed by women. As well as this, the festival will kick off with a screening of Arnaud Desplechin's Oh Mercy! As a special bonus, Desplechin will be a special guest at the event, along with a number of other specially invited attendees.
The five female-directed movies to be screened will be Proxima by Alice Winocour; Notre Dame by Valérie Donzelli; Sibyl by Justine Triet; Papicha by Mounia Meddour; and The Mustang by Laure de Clermont-Tonnerre.
Cervia, Lugo, 1st - 30th July 2020
More than 40 events are happening at another returning festival. With maximum safety measures to be taken as precautions against the Covid-19 virus, the festival has been given the green light for its 31st edition. It's appropriate that the festival is back this year, given that it started 30 years ago at the Rocca Brancaleone.
This year's event is jam-packed with musical and theatre performances. Attention-grabbing attractions include the debut of two new productions which were conceived during the recent lockdown. These comprise the premiere of Duets and Solos, which does exactly what it says on the tin. Special solo and duet performances from professional and real life couples in the arenas of music and dancing will enchant and delight. The other premiere is Valerio Cappelli's Ci sono giorni che non accadono mai, a play based during the time of Covid-19, which features previously unheard music by Ennio Morricone.
Other treats include a performance on 17th century Venice loves (featuring countertenor Carlo Vistoli and ensemble Sezione Aurea); piano recitals of Nikolay Khozyainov and Filippo Gorini; plus unique tributes to Charlie Chaplin, Mina and The Beatles.
Rome, 1st – 29th July 2020
Here's another music festival which classical music fans can lap up. Rome's Concerti del Tempietto offers a feast of classical performances of practically every composer under the sun. Chopin. Mozart. Beethoven. Bach. Haydn. Liszt. The Liszt goes on.
The festival will feature the cream of classical musicians. Among the line-up are flutist Veronica Ramonda and guitarist Martina Massimino (Duo Massimino – Ramonda); pianists Filippo Tenisci, Alessandro Romagnoli and Puwei Zheng; the Phoinikes Sax Quartet; and soprano Dominika Zamara. While the event is predominantly classical in content, there are inroads into other musical genres.
Banda Connemara, for example, will reinterpret various styles such as folk, Celtic, jazz, blues and rock in their own style. Meanwhile, pianist Giulia Vazzoler will offer up special performances including a rock piano medley and a version of Lady Gaga & Bradley Cooper's Shallow.
Imola, 11th - 12th July 2020
Another area returning to public attention is sport. While recent Covid-19 restrictions have affected the BOSS GP Championship, it has been announced that the series is provisionally due to begin in Imola, Italy on 11th and 12th July 2020.
The Imola races are said to be the first key sporting event in Italy since the recent pandemic. While it is still not known whether spectators will be allowed to observe, the event will also feature a number of support races. With the championship provisionally moving to Czech Republic and Netherlands in September, it's due to return in Italy in October. The BOSS Mugello Grand Prix takes place in Mugello with the Pirelli Grande Finale returning to Imola.
12th - 19th July 2020
Another announcement of a festival getting the go-ahead is the annual Ischia Global Film & Music Fest.
Scheduled for a week spanning the 12th to the 19th of July, the Ischia Festival is to be called Ischia Smart 2020, as a response to the film and audiovisual industry of Italy, which, according to chairperson Tony Renis, is “going through such a difficult time, along with the Campania region where the Isle of Ischia is located."
The go-ahead is a welcome development for the festival which has attracted a wealth of star names over the years. The likes of Quincy Jones, Mira Sorvino, Selena Gomez and Sting have made their presence felt at this acclaimed event which celebrates the best of international showbusiness from the picturesque setting of Ischia.
Venice, 18th - 19th July 2020
To mark the end of the plague epidemic of 1575 to 1577, every year, the Redeemer Festival is held in July. This year, the festival takes on an extra poignant meaning, given the recent Covid-19 virus. While the event will still go ahead, it will be happening with a few important changes. There will be no regattas or marches, with a strictly limited admission to guests and compulsory masks to be worn. In the past, the event has seen fireworks displays and parades, and while this year's line-up is yet to be confirmed, it will still be a suitably atmospheric and dignified to remember those that have been lost not only in the distant, but in the recent past.
26th July – September 2020
Despite the recent Covid-19 outbreak, the Emilia Romagna Festival will be returning to mark its first 20 years with a series of special live events in the region that fully comply with the security measures.
The 20th edition will look at all kinds of composers. From traditional past composers such as Beethoven, Verdi and Rossini to contemporary artists such as Philip Glass, Ennio Morricone and Michael Nyman, this event has it all.
One of the selling points is a tribute to two recently departed musicians: Krzysztof Penderecki and Luis Bacalov. Another is a boost to new, emerging talent such as Cristian Carrara and Lamberto Curtoni. Artists booked in for this year's festival include Richard Galliano, Ramin Bahrami, Ivo Pogorelich, Cristian Lombardi, Lorenzo Albanese and Giulia Rimonda.
All in all, this 20th milestone year looks set to be a fantastic celebration.