A frequent complaint, not only from myself but from others, regarding events in Lucca province is that they are not always well-publicised and sometimes not made known at all.
Part of the problem is that there is no effective centralised information agency for all the thousands of events that take place here annually (although it’s being worked upon as I write) and there no single comprehensive magazine in the manner of London’s “Time out” listing events according to genre and location. Every comune in the borough, it seems, issues its own list of happenings without cross-references to corresponding events in other boroughs. Events can be money-spinners so why should they lose potential punters to other local government administrations?
How do I gather my information then?
From ten main sources:
- Newspapers and Magazines. “La Nazione” newspaper has a good local events section, especially in the Monday edition and, moreover, can update previous information if it has been postponed or cancelled. “Grapevine” cannot be bettered for its centre spread events list.
- Brochures and leaflets. Organizations like “Ponti nel Tempo”, “Serchio delle Muse” or general compilations like Lucca “Note” (very useful and distinguishing between the different kinds of events) will issue literature, available at tourist information offices in time for their season of events.
- Facebook. Notifications via Facebook from organizations or people I have selected to link to my page can be very useful if you immediately paste them in your calendar…
- Web sites. Many organizations, after a late start, have got informative web-sites which are easily found by googling them. Examples are http://www.serchiodellemuse.it/ http://www.pontineltempo.it/manifestazioni.php and http://www.luccamusica.it/
- Lucca Musica. – a monthly free magazine. The list of musical events which is sent to me monthly from LuccaMusica (to be translated into English) is a good source.
- Flyers and posters. These, pasted on walls or pinned on noticeboards, can be photographed as you find them and then noted on a calendar.
- Television and radio. NOI TV, the local station which not only informs the public about events but also broadcasts a lot of them should be regularly watched in addition to tuning in to local radio stations…
- Friends and Acquaintances. Friends and acquaintances can often tell me about events which don’t seem to appear elsewhere. Such was the case with the Violoncello concert at Tereglio. If I want to know when and where the next sagra will come round then I have two friends who have a very detailed calendar they have built up over the years giving me all the information I need.
- From knowledge that certain events are recurring. E.g. organ concerts in Val di Lima always come round about July and the various Sagre always tend to occur at around the same times too.
- Other methods. You can always tell if a mediaeval Festa is in the vicinity by the mighty sound of drums. Church bells will announce the latest religious procession. Gunshot and barking of male deer will announce the start of the hunting season (if you’re interested, of course).
It’s clearly agreeable to write about events one’s been to but not so nice if others didn’t know the events took place. So, for one, I’ve decided in future to include the list from Lucca Musica in my blog as soon as I receive it, which is around the middle of the month for the next month.
In the meanwhile here is the list I received in August for this month. So happy event hunting!
MASTER CLASSES AND CONCERTS AT THE “BOCCHERINI OPEN GOLD”
In September, the Luigi Boccherini musical institute is organizing master classes and concerts with internationally renowned artists. From 6th to 8th September Marshev Oleg, one of the most influential Russian pianists, will begin his piano course. Katia Ricciarelli follows with a master class from the 10th to the 14th, while Aquiles Delle Vigne, the great Argentine pianist, will be at the Institute from September 16th to the 19th. From 17th to 21st Alessandro Capon, first violin of the Berlin Philharmonic orchestra will be present and, to close the calendar, there will be the famous Czech guitarist, now naturalized Dutch, Pavel Steidl from 18th to 22nd September and Bruno Canino, a ground-breaker in chamber music performance, from 28th to 30th September. At the same time there will be choral and orchestral workshops, conferences and concerts. For details on the performers, programs, places and times refer to the poster on page 13.
THE LUCCA PHILHARMONIC ORCHESTRA CONDUCTED BY ANDREA COLOMBINI
The Lucca Philharmonic Orchestra, conducted by Andrea Colombini, will hold two major concerts during the Settembre Lucchese program. On Sunday 15th (Chiesa dei Servi 9.15 pm) the Holy Cross Opera Gala will be held with soloists from the “Puccini and his Lucca” festival and the “G. Verdi“, from Prato, and “G. Puccini”, from Torre Del Lago, choirs. The program includes music, choruses and arias from the great masterpieces of Puccini, Verdi, Mozart, Bizet and Richard Strauss. On Sunday 22nd there will be a “Viennese Nights” concert with waltzes, polkas and marches of the Strauss family. Soprano Silvia Di Falco and guitarist Meme Lucarelli will perform. Info and reservations by calling 340 8106042.
GIANFRANCO COSMI’S 500 VOICES FOR THE HYMN TO LUCCA’S WALLS
On Sunday 8th at 6 pm, in Piazza San Martino, 500 singers from various choirs of Tuscany, conducted by Gianfranco Cosmi, will perform in a repertoire that not only includes pieces by Verdi, Wagner, Puccini and Mascagni, but also premieres the “Hymn to Lucca’s walls” for tenor and chorus by Gianfranco Cosmi, written for the 500th anniversary of the construction of the city walls of Lucca. Admission is free.
THE DREAM OF MELIA
On Thursday 5th at 9 pm, in the cloister of San Micheletto, there will be a performance of “Melia’s Dream”, a musical recitation conceived and written by Paola Massoni, uniting music, poetry, dance and light show. Paola Massoni, in the guise of the nymph Melia, soprano and narrator, will be joined by a dance troupe led by choreographer and director Kristian Cellini, (Dance School Fuoricentro of Lucca), accompanied by “Le Muse” Ensemble conducted by Mauro Fabbri. Admission by donation. The proceeds will be given to the Green Cross of Lucca.
PIANO QUINTET AT THE “ANGELI CUSTODI”
The Angeli Custodi (Guardian Angels) concerts resume in September, in the street of the same name, with an evening where two of Joseph Haydn’s concertos for piano and orchestra, transcribed for string quintet according to contemporary performance practice, will be performed by James Phelan (piano), Gianluca Chelini and Carlo Berti (violin), Francesco Scarpetti (viola), Lorenzo Phelan (cello) and Severiano Paul (bass). Tickets from 5 to 12 €. Information at http://www.iconcertidegliangeli.com
“TARGA D’ARGENTO” AWARD TO ANDREA BORGHINI
On Sunday 15th at 5.30 pm, at San Micheletto auditorium there will be the customary appointment with the “In sogno” (dream on) event during which the “Targa d’Argento Luciana Pardini” will be awarded to the young baritone Andrea Borghini, who will perform arias by Puccini, Bellini, Rossini and Donizetti. At the piano Laura Pasqualetti. Admission is free. To book call 347 9951581. On Sunday, 22nd (9.15 pm San Micheletto) the “Amici Della Musica” present a dance and pop music show to raise funds for the care of a child with a rare disease. Tickets are € 8.
MOTTETTONE FOR HOLY CROSS
In the evening of September 13th, in the Cathedral of San Martino, the “Mottettone” for the Holy Cross, a choral and orchestral piece traditionally composed by Lucca musicians to celebrate the September Festival will be performed. At the end of the historic Luminara this year, there will be a piece by Pietro Paoli, a musician who lived between the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. Performers will be the choir of the Cappella Musicale “Santa Cecilia” of the Cathedral of Lucca, the Choir of the Cathedral of Castelnuovo di Garfagnana and Giulia Biagetti organ. Musical Director Luca Bacci.
MUSIC AT PALAZZO PFANNER
The first concert in the “Sound of Lucca” musical season will be on Friday, September 6th at Palazzo Pfanner with the soloists of the “Boccherini” Chamber Orchestra (Luke Celoni and Angela Landi violins, cello Paolo Ognissanti, Fabrizio Petrucci on bass). On Sunday 15th, in collaboration with the Istituto Musicale “Boccherini”, there will be a concert in the Suffragio Auditorium with Luca Celoni, Valeria Barsanti (violins) and Carlo Benvenuti (cello) who will present the first part of the complete string trios Op. 34 by Luigi Boccherini. The evening will be hosted by Remigio Coli. On Sunday 22nd at Palazzo Pfanner there will be a concert devoted to Astor Piazzolla and the Tango with the Hyperion ensemble. On Friday 27th there will be the second part of the string trios Op. 34 by Luigi Boccherini. With the exception of the concert on 15th September which will begin at 6 pm with free admission, all other concerts at Palazzo Pfanner (via degli Asili, 33) will start at 9.15 pm with a ticket price of € 5. Info: http://www.orchestraluigiboccherini.it
SACRED MEDIEVAL MUSIC
On Tuesday, September 10th at 9 pm in the Oratory of S. Joseph, Piazza Antelminelli, musicians from the InUnum Ensemble, invited by the Nuove Tendenze Cultural association, will perform a program of sacred music ranging from the twelfth to the fifteenth century, with the title “Mundi Renovatio. The dimension of salvation in sacred medieval music”.
The program includes music by Adamo di San Vittore (1112-1192), Hildegard of Bingen (1098-1179), Alfonso X the Wise (1221-1284), Johannes de Lymburgia, Gilles Binchois (XV cent.) and other pieces from medieval collections, such as the Las Huelgas (XIII-XIV c.) codex, the Llibre Vermell and the Laudario of Cortona (XIV c.). Elena Modena and Hilary Gregoletto accompany the singers with musical instruments such as the Gothic harp, the great vieille, percussion, recorders and the Italian shawm. Tickets: € 10, reduced € 5. Info: http://www.nuovetendenze.org
CONCERT FOR SAN MICHELE
It’s now the eighth year of the concert for San Michele, an initiative promoted by the Polifonica Lucchese choir and part of the annual season of the Lucchese musical association.
On Saturday, September 21st at 5.30 pm, in the Church of San Michele in Foro, Beethoven’s Egmont Overture, Op. 84 and his Mass in C major. Op 86 for soloists, chorus and orchestra will be performed.
The performers are: Mirella Di Vita (soprano), Sandra Mellace (mezzo-soprano), Marco Mustaro (tenor), Francesco Facini (bass), the Polifonica Lucchese choir, the Stereo Tipi vocal group and the “L. Boccherini” chamber orchestra conducted by Egisto Matteucci. Ticket at € 10, on sale in the church of San Michele before the concert.
THEATRICAL AND MUSICAL SHOW WITH SONGS BY BRECHT AND VIAN
On Sunday 22nd at 6 pm the Teatro S. Girolamo will host a theatrical and musical show directed by Elisa Rocca: “B & B – tragic Variety in sonata form” with actresses Chiara Catalano and Valentina Ruggeri accompanied by pianist Stefano Lenci and presented by the Associazione Nuove Tendenze, in collaboration with the Teatro del Giglio, under the patronage of the Municipality and the Province of Lucca.
“B & B” is a show that aims at reinterpreting the cabaret in a modern key. The show will also be rich in surprises for the audience. Tickets: € 15, reduced € 12; advance bookings at the Teatro Del Giglio. Info: http://www.nuovetendenze.org
MUSIC BY RAPEZZI MUSIC FOR THE FOREIGN ARTISTS COLLECTIVE
From 1st to 22nd September the exhibition hall of the BML Foundation in Piazza San Martino will host the exhibition “Destination / Destinaciòn Lucca”, with artists Dariush (Iran), Uri Negvi (Argentina) and Katerina Ring (California).
As with previous exhibitions, the Cluster-Lucca musical association will provide the music. The soundtrack created especially for the occasion by the Lucca composer Xavier Rapezzi will accompany the paintings in various ways by stimulating the viewer’s emotions. Free admission. Open September 1st to 22nd at the following times: Monday-Friday 4pm-8pm Saturday and Sunday 10 am – 1pm, 4 pm-8 pm. Info: http://www.fondazionebmluccaeventi.it