In her second year as Artistic Director of the Music Department of La Biennale di Venezia, Lucia Ronchetti confirms the vision of her Festival project: Venice as an essential starting point in the history of music; researching and using its historical spaces traditionally devoted to music (from the theatres to the squares, from the Basilica Marciana to the educational Institutes); and the interaction between music and Venetian institutions. In 2021 the main focus of the Festival was on the exploration of the dramaturgical potential of the voice, enhanced and magnified by contemporary choral writing. This year it is the turn of music theatre, including first performances of new works in various venues and their links with ancient traditions, such as the Venetian Carnevale.
The second major driving force in Lucia Ronchetti’s vision of the Festival is a return to the commission of new, original works. Lucia often laments the lack of public commissions in Italy (unlike in many other countries in Europe and beyond). This is a view shared by many of the protagonists of the visual arts, according to whom Venice displays a lot of art but its own production is limited.
It is my conviction that the choice to present in the Festival new compositions expressly commissioned by La Biennale di Venezia is the right way forward in order to enable the professional growth and development of artists who, as in all the other disciplines, find themselves living in Venice a kind of experimental, laboratory experience that will ensure the future of La Biennale. This seed is actually sown in the activities of the Biennale College, where, through the Artistic Director of the Department, young artists from all over the world come into contact with an international dimension, working with world-class tutors and experiencing at first hand audience reactions to their works in conditions that are unique in terms of both prestige and professional excellence.
I have seen Lucia Ronchetti wielding her divining rod as she searches for new talents among those who in their desire for experimentation have applied for a place at the College. This work done, Lucia attributes to these young artists “new creative intentions” which will be expressed in the world premières of works commissioned by the Biennale Musica 2022 to enrich it with “new horizons”. This is an ambition that the Director believes is vindicated by its results and which she projects in her very optimistic vision with regard to the future of contemporary music, which she defends forcefully and with passion in her desire to render it more widely known and more frequently performed.
Lucia has created a contemporary space that links the talents of the Ensemble Ars Ludi, Silver Lion 2022, with a classic of contemporary music, Giorgio Battistelli, this year’s Golden Lion for Lifetime Achievement, who come together in a new production of Jules Verne.
This remarkable feat of weaving together many different experiences has one sole purpose: “to bring to the attention of the public the most extreme and fragile – but at the same time the most futuristic – results of contemporary music dramaturgy”.
Nothing could be closer to the mission of La Biennale di Venezia: to assemble together all the contemporaneities of the past and present, surprising ourselves at each step.