20-28 June 2003. The lyric opera section of the Ravenna Festival opens with Verdis Il Trovatore (20-28 June) directed by Cristina Mazzavillani Muti, wife of conductor Riccardo. She presents the work as a popular tale from the Middle Ages through images that are a cross between reality and make-believe. The festival also pays homage to Russian culture in celebration of the 300th anniversary of the foundation of St Petersburg, with the inclusion of two Russian masterpieces, Shostakovichs The Lady Macbeth of Mtsensk, in its original version of 1932 (8, 15 and 16 July), and Tchaikovskys The Queen of Spades (9, 13 and 17 July).The programme also features less well-known works including the comic opera Mavra by Stravinsky and Kascej the Immortal by Rimsky-Korsakov, in its first performance outside Russia (10, 12 and 18 July). These four operas will be performed by the Helikon Theatre of Moscow, established 13 years ago by Dmitrij Bertman, enfant terrible of Russian culture, and now in Italy for the first time. The direction is by Bertman himself (Paolo Di Nicola).

General Info

Address Teatro Alighieri, tel. 0544249244, www.ravennafestival.org.

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Il Trovatore by Verdi.

Teatro Alighieri, tel. 0544249244, www.ravennafestival.org.