John Bensalhia welcomes the summer with some cracking festivals and events...
The state of festival play is heating up in Italy this June. A number of festivals are returning, guaranteeing a delightful experience for fans of music, gardening, literature, and many more. As ever, please check back on the websites given in the listings for any last-minute changes or news regarding the events.
2nd June - 31st July 2021
A bumper Ravenna Festival is coming soon, with more than 70 events planned in the realms of music, performance, and dance. While the bulk of the 32nd edition takes place at Ravenna's Rocca Brancaleone, there will also be performances in Cervia and Lugo—all in accordance with the Covid-19-related safety precautions.
One of the themes for this year’s festival is Dante, in honor of the 700th anniversary of the poet’s passing. This includes events at the Basilica of S. Francesco—the location of Dante's funeral, which are tuned into both his poems and the music performed from his time. Musicologist Piero Mioli will be on hand to give a talk about the man himself. At a separate Cervia-Milano Marittima event, Neri Marcorè and the Orchestra Corelli will also be providing voices for the female characters of Dante’s works.
Another figure being paid tribute is French-Flemish composer Josquin Desprez. Five centuries after his passing, the festival will include a performance of the “Missa Hercules Dux Ferrariae” by Odhecaton within In Templo Domini. Meanwhile, Lugo pays its own tribute to Astor Piazzolla with a performance of tango operita “Maria de Buenos Aires” and “Romance del Diablo”.
Other happenings include a celebration of Ennio Morricone; a talk by author Marco Belpoliti; plays (including Fanny E Alexander's “Sylvie e Bruno”; Menoventi's “Il defunto odiava i pettegolezzi”; and ErosAntEros' “Confini”); and lots more!
Taormina, 17th - 21st June 2021
A motif for this year's Taobuk Festival is metamorphosis, transformation, and change. As well as books, the acclaimed Taobuk Festival looks at various sectors such as journalism, music, cinema, food and drink, and theatre. It's now in its 11th edition and looks set to provide another strong line-up.
Among the various metamorphosis themes are changes in Europe (including the pandemic and the next phase of the EU); the metamorphosis of writing; and the transformation of disguise. One constant of the festival is that it will both enlighten and entertain visitors in equal measure.
Macerata, 17th - 19th June 2021
The 32nd edition of the Musicultura Festival reaches its conclusion this month. The 17th to 19th sees the final stages of the singer song-writer festival, which will be happening at Macerata's Sferisterio. The finalists will take to the stage along with familiar faces from Italy's arts, literature, and music sectors.
The competition is being hotly promoted on Rai Radio 1 and on social media, through which fans will have had a chance to vote for their favorite through the Musicultura Facebook page. Among the guests listed for this year's festival are Subsonica, with Multicultura marking their return to the stage.
A Sky Full of Stars
Jesolo, 17th - 19th June 2021
Although the group has been around since 1978, the Majorettes Magic Stars will be presenting their very first Sky Full Of Stars event this June.
Comprising 30 majorettes and accompanying bands, the Jesolo-based group has taken part in a multitude of concerts, parades, and special events. They have also achieved high ratings at majorette championships and competitions including Amsterdam's European Championship in 2013, the Majorettes European Championship in 2015, not to mention a win in the best choreographic group award at Rome's Gran Gala of Majorettes.
A special parade kicks off the event, traveling from Jesolo's Marina Square to Aurora Square. Once at the destination of the Aurora amphitheater, a show is put on to entertain with a string of musical and dance-based performances.
Perugia Flower Show
19th - 20th June 2021
With summer here, what better time than now to get some gardening inspiration?
Perugia's Flower Show provides both inspiration and a wealth of rare and beautiful plants and flowers including roses, bonsai, and hydrangeas.
You may be a gardening veteran on the hunt for something new to add to your garden or you may be a newcomer seeking tips on how to grow the perfect outdoor space. Either way, you'll be delighted with what the Perugia Flower Show has to offer, including exhibits of plants and flowers; competitions and tests in flower arranging and gardening; plus stands for crafts, food, and drink. Young ones will also enjoy specially prepared workshops and activities!
Festival of the Two Worlds
Spoleto, 25th June - 11th July 2021
This month boasts a strong selection of cultural festivals and the Festival of the Two Worlds is no exception.
Coming in at the end of the month, Festival dei Due Mondi will carry on until July 11th and promises to pack in a slew of performances, talks, competitions, screenings, workshops, and more...all relating to the arts. Whether your taste is for music, dance, or theatre, you won't be disappointed by the wealth of variety on offer.
Not bad for a festival founded 63 years ago as a means of cross-cultural representation between America and Europe. Gian Carlo Menotti's legacy is such that his festival went on to inspire America's Spoleto Festival—also held on an annual basis.
Piano City Milano
25th - 27th June 2021
Another returning festival strikes a chord in Milan. The 10th edition of Piano City Milano will bring a feast of piano music, both in the heart and on the outskirts of Milan. It's a treat for locals who can attend many of the events for free. In fact, some offer their private homes and courtyards as locations for concerts!
The pianists will perform at a variety of locations, demonstrating special skill and unique talent with their own versions of classic piano-based compositions and maybe one or two of their own! Any budding pianists waiting in the wings will be sure to find plenty of inspiration in this classic music festival.