We meet Maestro Maurizio Pietrantonio, the newly appointed General Director of the prestigious Fondazione Ravello.
Meritocracy may sound like an outdated word, but it surely is not for the Fondazione Ravello that, among the several curricula received, has privileged the eminent Maestro’s long-lasting experience.
Maurizio Pietrantonio’s career has been so rich that it can only be summarized like this: a superb professional, protagonist and representative of music, counting outstanding achievements.
All these abilities certainly have not gone unnoticed to music and culture connoisseurs like the Fondazione Ravello itself, which, in collaboration with Regione Campania, the Fondazione’s extraordinary commissioner Almerina Bove and its steering committee, backed up and managed with absolute transparency the public tender that has appointed a highly-qualified person as the Fondazione’s new director in a difficult time like this.
The Maestro brings along his experience as the Superintendent of the Lyrical Theater in Cagliari, with six balanced budgets and an audience that is still deeply fond of him. Freshly nominated, he tells us about his new experience.
Maestro, how did you feel when you were appointed to this prestigious role?
It is not hard for me to say that at first, I felt that slightly confusing joy that comes along when you realize you are facing a prestigious professional challenge in one of the most beautiful places in the world.
Ravello is where history meets beauty. Looking out over the sea from the panoramic viewpoint at Villa Rufolo, where the Fondazione has its headquarters, is an experience that dazes you and reconciles you with the harmony of life at once; mostly, it infuses you with that vital energy that is necessary to take action, to plan the future, even in a dramatic time like the one we are now living.
The architectures and landscapes of the place where I have been called to work are an invaluable plus. In addition to this, the Fondazione Ravello is a top-class cultural institution, playing a key role for its commitment to the public policies of Regione Campania, whose prestige is recognized all over Italy. The famous Ravello international festival, one of the longest-running in the country, is surely at the heart of all activities. But the articulations and potential of the Fondazione’s cultural offer are enormous.
Over Christmas, a captivating TV streaming project gave space to the young talents of classical music. Could you tells us about it in detail? Will this project addressing young talents be part of your near future, too?
Of course. Last Christmas, in collaboration with its founding members, Regione Campania, Provincia di Salerno and the Municipality of Ravello, the Fondazione left the floor to emerging young talents in our region’s music scene, alongside experienced professionals.
It is our duty, even our social responsibility not to neglect a generation that has seen the world suddenly shut, without even having the chance to get to know it first. The health emergency has sacrificed all artistic professionals, traditionally fragile.
Yet, we do not know what effects this forced confinement will have on the youngest. Inviting them to Ravello and giving them a chance to perform in such a prestigious context, even though in streaming shows, was surely a bet on the future.
Our streaming concerts met remarkable success, with thousands of viewers from Italy and abroad, which has encouraged us to pursue this project in the future, even beyond the Covid-19 emergency.
We now live in a new digital humanism that involves the worlds of knowledge, intellectuality and art in particular. This should not scare us; we should take advantage of it, as long as people, with their intelligence and will, remain at the core of every choice.
In fact, it should be taken into account that the Fondazione Ravello also owns the cutting-edge Oscar Niemeyer auditorium, an architectural gem with exceptional acoustics, located in a strategic position that, according to Regione Campania’s policy-making, is about to become an independent music production center with a direction offering services to the various remarkable cultural initiatives in the region.
A crucial bet, in line with the good practices of optimizing the industry’s network and meeting its professional needs.
You will always be remembered as one of the best Superintendents at the Lyrical Theater in Cagliari, both for the quality of your choices in terms of music and ballet and for your management.
In such a delicate time, Regione Campania has valued your professionalism and expertise. How many people work in your team?
Thank you for this generous recognition. I must say that the Lyrical Theater in Cagliari, despite the management issues I had to face, has remained with me for the quality and technical skills that it showed in its artistic productions, including in my seven years as a Superintendent, and for the affectionate participation of its large audience, always competent and passionate.
After a public tender, the Fondazione’s current commissioner Almerina Bove, on behalf of Regione Campania, has now entrusted me with this prestigious role, which I feel fully responsible for and which I hope to properly honor with the help of my fervent, valuable collaborators.
Here, we have a core operating team of a few units, which obviously grows significantly during the summer music festival in order to meet all organizational needs. I will not be starting from zero, which is surely an advantage, and I would like to give credit to my predecessors for their work.
But yes, I feel like I am bringing some method, some experience and guidelines that I hope will encourage to bravely start again, coming from such an influential place as Ravello is, after the past months’ shock.
Spring will be back, we need to make sure of this.
Working in such an enchanting location, both in terms of historical buildings and natural context, have you outlined any projects inextricably linking music, art and tourism?
In Ravello and for our foundation, a close, synergic relation between music, art and tourism is surely paramount. The spirit of this place lies in the perfect harmony of its nature, historical memory and cultural offer.
Villa Rufolo is an example of this. Visiting means retracing a fascinating weave of Norman-Arab history, as well as diving into a magic, superb place, immersed in blooming vegetation and colors that inspire artists, as it happened to Wagner, who found here the magic of Klingsor’s garden in the last act of his Parsifal.
The inhabitants of Ravello have a great privilege: tourist stopping by, even just once, can enjoy a first and foremost inner experience that will last forever. Those who have managerial duties, like me now, are called to cultivate this unlimited tangible and intangible heritage, so that is becomes a common asset accessible to everyone.
Interview by Claudia Spano