The Roads of Friendship: Ravenna-Il Cairo

Ravenna Festival

Ravenna Festival
Ravenna, Italy

From the western paradigm of the United States to contradictions between tradition and modernity in North African lands - the cradle of civilisation. The Egyptian desert was the suggestive setting for the “Roads of Friendship” in 2003. On 21 July the pyramids and the enigmatic Sphinx were enveloped by the strains of Hector Berlioz’s Grande symphonie funèbre et triomphale and by those of the second act of Christoph Willibald Gluck’s opera Orfeo ed Euridice for the first time in history. Along with the Philharmonic Orchestra of La Scala theatre, Ravenna Festival’s Orchestra and the choirs of both Santa Cecilia National Academy and the Maggio Musicale Fiorentino, Riccardo Muti conducted the Orchestra and Choir of the Cairo Opera House. The Maestro recalls that it was an absolutely unrepeatable concert: “Both these pieces, besides brightening spirits, conveying glory and invoking light on those who shed their blood for freedom, have in common a reference to the kingdom of the dead. And the pyramids are obviously tombs in the first place and they represent the kingdom of eternal sleep, considered not only as the resting place of pharaohs and of the Egyptian people, in a broad sense, but also as the whole world’s longing and hope for peace.”


  • Title: The Roads of Friendship: Ravenna-Il Cairo
  • Date Created: 2003
  • Location: Il Cairo, Egypt

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