The Ravenna Festival is to bring live concerts back to Italy for the first time since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic

Riccardo Muti and Luigi Cherubini Choir

Riccardo Muti and Luigi Cherubini Youth Orchestra
Photo: Silvia Lelli

With its launch on 21 June, the Ravenna Festival will bring live concerts back to Italy for the first time since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic.­ It will take place in compliance with governmental regulations on social distancing. Masks will be mandatory for all 250 members of the audience, and there will be a staggered access system.

Featuring up to 40 events between 21 June and 30 July, the 31st edition of the Ravenna Festival will begin with an open-air concert conducted by Riccardo Muti in the city’s 15th century fortress, Rocca Brancaleone. Featuring the Luigi Cherubini Youth Orchestra and soloist Rosa Feola, it will mark the 30th anniversary - almost to the day - of the festival’s very first concert, which took place in the same location, conducted by Riccardo Muti.

Read: Concerts to resume in Italy on 15 June

As it is young artists whose livelihoods have been most severely threatened during the pandemic, the team behind the festival wanted to ensure that these young artists would be the first to be offered engagements to play. So the Luigi Cherubini Youth Orchestra, which was created by Riccardo Muti in 2004 as a training ground for young Italian professional musicians under the age of 30, will perform five different programmes this summer. ­

The 2021 Ravenna Festival is already in planning; it will be a celebration of Ravenna’s most famous honorary citizen – Dante Alighieri, who lived in Ravenna and died there in 1321.