The Roads of Friendship: Ravenna-Damasco

Ravenna Festival

Ravenna Festival
Ravenna, Italy

On 25 July the “Roads of Friendship” stopped once again in the desert, but this time in the Syrian one around the capital Damascus. In Bosra - the fabulous city that was known to the farthest Eastern countries in the 7th century - the ancient Roman theatre was the setting for the performance of pieces from Vincenzo Bellini’s Norma and Ottorino Respighi’s Pini di Roma. On the terraced seats an audience of thousands of people listened spellbound to the notes and voices of the Philharmonic Orchestra and Choir of La Scala theatre that played with musicians from the Syrian National Symphonic Orchestra and the Choir of the Music Academy in Damascus, led by Riccardo Muti. Syria is geographically distant from Ravenna and differs from the West in culture and traditions, but the “Bridge of Brotherhood” built by the Festival even deletes the deepest differences. The Maestro held a lesson for the local orchestra musicians in a combination of Italian, English and gestures. And yet, music enabled them to understand each other. Every rolling of tympani in crescendo during the concert triggered a prolonged applause. But it was thus that the audience paid the greatest tribute to the event.


  • Title: The Roads of Friendship: Ravenna-Damasco
  • Date Created: 2004
  • Location: Damascus, Syria

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