14-16 June 2004. Conducted by Johanes Debus, directed by Achim Freyer with Otto Katzameier, Annette Stricker, Sonia Turchetta and the Orchestra Klangforum Wien. This work was first performed in 2002 and was immediately awarded a prestigious prize as best opera of the season. It is a streamlined elaboration of Shakespeares tragedy in which each death, each massacre represents all deaths, all massacres. There are two orchestras, one in the pit and the other on stage.

The 15th edition of the Ravenna Festival is titled "Enlightenment on the road to Damascus", focusing on the relationships between east and west; a very topical theme to say the least. The festival will throw light on the great civilisations in the Mediterranean area, and the people who live there now; a mix of classical and modern. So here is Orion by Philip Glass (10 June), a multi-cultural work dedicated to a constellation that has inspired many important myths, and I La Galigo (18-20 June), a new work of music, theatre and dance by Robert Wilson, based on an ancient Indonesian epic poem. You couldnt have a road to Damascus without the biblical Salome through the modern eyes of Richard Strauss; the opera will be performed in concert form by the prestigious Wiener Philharmoniker conducted by Peter Schneider (25 June). The flip-side of the enlightenment is the darkness that clouds the minds of the characters of Verdis Macbeth (16 and 18 July). Micha van Hoeckes direction envisages an empty space haunted by apparitions and pierced by hallucinations. The orchestra will be conducted by Daniele Gatti. Paolo di Nicola

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Address Teatro Nazionale, Via del Viminale, for information tel. 0648160255.

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Macbeth by Salvatore Sciarrino.

Teatro Nazionale, Via del Viminale, for information tel. 0648160255.