The Best in Rome
Week of Friday, December 6 - Thursday, December 12, 2013
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Pappano conducts Brahms and Petrassi
This week's program of the Orchestra dell'Accademia di Santa Cecilia is varied, indeed. Opening with a little heard work by Pietro Mascagni of Cavaleria Rusticana fame, and moving on to the deeply beloved Brahms Violin Concerto, performed by the extraordinary Greek violinist Leonidas Kavakos. Then, a work by one of the most revered Italian composers of the 20th century, Goffredo Petrassi. Although he experimented with post-Webernian modernism in his later works, the Magnificat, which Maestro Pappano will conduct, is in the tradition of the Italian neo-classical style influenced by composers such as Bartok, Hindemtih and Stravinsky. At the Auditorium Parco della Musica, Saturday, December 7; Monday December 9; Tuesday, December 10. more
Gidon Kremer is a musician of eclectic tastes. A virtuoso violinist, he launched his career in the usual manner, winning major competitions including first prizes at the at the Paganini Competition in Genoa and at the International Tchaikovsky Competition in Moscow, both in 1970. His wide-ranging repertory includes music by contemporary composers such as Arvo Pärt and Philip Glass as well as baroque composers such as Vivaldi. In 1996 he founded the Kremerata Baltica chamber orchestra, composed of young players from the Baltic region. His trio, whose personnel vary, performs a mix of traditional and modern music. In Rome, they'll play a program including two trios by Rachmaninoff, and one by the Polish composer Mieczysław Weinberg (1919-1996). At the Teatro Olimpico, Thursday, December 12. more
A celebration of the music of Africa, featuring works by Dumisani Maraire
Kevin Volans, Badara Seck, Gabin Dabirè and traditional music and dance of Central Africa. With Badara Seck griot, Gabin Dabirè vocals and mbira, Ismaile Mbaye African percussion instruments, Moustapha Dembele kora and balafon; the Childrens Chorus of the Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia, the Children's Chorus of the African community of Rome, and the Parco della Musica Contemporanea Ensemble. At the Auditorium Parco, Sunday, December 8. more
Patti Smith Headlines the Gala Concerto di Natale
The 21st edition of this annual marathon of popular music with a galaxy of Italian and international stars, this year headlining Patti Smith from the USA, and featuring (among others) Giovanni Allevi, Arisa, Luca Barbarossa, Elisa, Alex Britti and Clementino from Italy, Anggun from Indonesia, Caro Emerald from Holland, Dolores O'Riordan from Ireland, Natasha St. Pier from Canada, Asaf Avidan from Israel and the Virginia State Gospel Choir, the Scuola di Canto Corale del'Teatro dell Opera di Roma, the Orchestra Sinfonica Universale. Proceeds benefit the Don Bosco nel Mondo Foundation, providing clean drinking water to four villages in Benin. The concert will be recorded and broadcast on RAI2 on Christmas Eve. At the Auditorium della Conciliazione, Saturday, December 7. more
Moscow Ballet "La Classique"
The company was founded primarily as a touring unit by its current director Elik Melikov, with a committment to dancing classic ballets using the original choreography by such legendary names as Petipa and Litvinov, comprised of dancers from the leading theatres of Bolshoi, Kirov and Ballet Theatres of Kiev, Odessa, Tbilisi, Perm. They present consistently worthwhile productions, this year touring Italy and the UK, with a summer season in Moscow. At the Teatro Brancaccio, they'll perform three works with music by Tchaikovsky: The Nutcracker, Sleeping Beauty and Swan Lake. December 10 - 15. more
Rarely performed today, Ernani was a huge hit when it premiered in Venice in 1844, and remained Verdi's most popular opera until the debut of Il Trovatore nine years later.
In Rome, it will be conducted by Riccardo Muti, regarded as the greatest living Verdi interpretor, and his dream team cast — soprano Tatjana Serjan, tenor Francesco Meli, baritone Luca Salsi and bass Ildar Abdrazako — in a co-production with the Sydney Opera House, at the Teatro dell'Opera di Roma, through Saturday, December 14. more
It's Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas
Rome is magical all year-long, but at Christmas it takes on another dimension. This Sunday, December 8, Pope Francis will open the season with the traditoinal papal visit to Piazza Mignanelli near the American Express office at the Spanish Steps to symbolically place a wreath on the head of the Madonna statue. (Actually, a fireman does it). Streets will be closed. Crowds will be dense.
This year, all the lights in the historic center will be eco-friendly low-wattage, and paid for by commercial sponsers — not the cash-strapped comune. the traditional drapery of lights covering the entire length of the Via del Corso, will be in a rainbow hue, proclaiming Rome a gay-friendly city, as well as reflecting the rainbow peace flag.
There will be massive trees at the Trinità dei Monti atop the Spanish Steps, at the Coliseum, San Silvestro, Piazza Venezia and the Campidoglio. Look for great displays along Via Condotti and Via Tomassini, at the Fendi flagship store and in Piazza San Lorenzo in Lucina. Via Merulana, between San Giovanni in Laterno and Santa Maria Maggiore, will be lit with glowing butterflies. At the Vatican, a 25 meter-high Bavarian tree will be lit up on Christmas Eve, along with a massive manger scene. For shoppers. the usual free Christmas shuttle bus will travel through the center of Rome.
In the Museums
A retrospective of work by icon photographer Gordon Parks is at the Palazzo Incontro. At the Palazzo Venezia, works by Baroque master painter Carlo Saraceni. At the Mercato di Traiano, Veljko Mihajlovic - Konstantin, engravings and graphic works depicting the Emporer Constatnine's travels to the Holy Lands. At the Fondazione di Roma - Palazzo Cipolla Modigliani, Soutine e gli Artisti Maledetti more than 120 works from this pivotal period in art history. At the Palazzo Barberini, Antoniazzo Romano - Pictor Urbi, religious works by the 15th century artist. At the Palazzo Sciarra, Il Tesoro di Napoli, works by master jewelers from the Museum of San Gennaro. Duchamp: Ready-Made is at the Galleria Nazionale d'Arte Moderna. Cleopatra, an exploration of the life and influence of the legendary Egyptian queen is at the Chiostro Bramante. Augusto, artefacts of the life of the great Roman emperor opens is at the Scuderie del Quirinale. Monumental sculptures by Emilio Greco are at the Palazzo Braschi, and Greco's paintings and drawings are at the Complesso Monumentale Di San Salvatore in Lauro. At the Complesso Del Vittoriano, a bicentenniel commemoration of the life of Giuseppe Verdi, and an exhibit by Cezanne focusing onhis influence on Italian artists. At MACRO, Fotografia, the 12th annual international photography festival. At the Palazzo delle Esposizioni, photographs from 125 years of the National Geographic and Gilamesh,
illustrations by French graphic artist Laurie Elie and Iranian painter Forough Raihan, as well as Il cibo immaginario 1950 - 1970, a visual history of post-war Italy through food advertising. At the Museo di Roma in Trastevere, Homeless, startling black and white portraits by photographer Lee Jeffries as well as Ivo Batocco - La rotta della speranza, portraits of emigrants from the Italian exodus. At the Capitoline museums, Archimedes. Art and the Invention of Science.
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