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The Roads of Friendship: Ravenna-El-Djem

Ravenna Festival

Ravenna Festival
Ravenna, Italy

On 4 July the virtually intact ruins of another Roman amphitheatre hosted the course of the “Roads of Friendship”. Ravenna Festival moved along the Mediterranean to Tunisia, once again a desert site - isolated El Djem - the city that became legendary when the Berber heroine La Kahena took refuge in the amphitheatre that was converted into a citadel in the 7th century. The programme envisaged the performance of Boito’s Mephistopheles with Maestro Muti conducting the Orchestra and Choir of the Maggio Musicale Fiorentino under the stars. The conductor’s baton was about to be lifted to evoke the enchantment of the Arcadia when the unexpected occurred – there suddenly arose in the silence the muezzin’s wailing call to evening prayer. The chanting voice grew in strength and Riccardo Muti interrupted the concert as a sign of respect. “I had to stop as a sign of respect, but also because the muezzin’s prayer blended well with that precise moment of the opera,” he said. That year the fusion of the Islamic chant and the orchestra’s performance was the most powerful symbol of the “Bridge of Brotherhood” that Ravenna Festival builds among peoples through music.

Details

  • Title: The Roads of Friendship: Ravenna-El-Djem
  • Date Created: 2005
  • Location: El-Jem, Tunisia

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