Each season, the famous orchestra conductor meets with five young conductors, and five accompanying teachers, selected from numerous applicants from all over the world. The supporting laboratory is provided by the Luigi Cherubini Youth Orchestra (composed by musicians all under the age of 30), which Muti founded in 2005 and usually conducts, together with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra. Concerts and rehearsals (open to the public) are held at the Dante Alighieri Theatre in Ravenna.
Since 2018, the Raul Gardini Foundation, which includes among its objectives the scientific and cultural education of young people, has become the main sponsor of the Riccardo Muti Italian Opera Academy.
Through the Riccardo Muti Italian Opera Academy, Maestro aims at passing on to young artists from all over the world what he, himself, learnt from his teachers in a lineage that in history finds him connected to Giuseppe Verdi through Arturo Toscanini and his own teacher Antonino Votto.
From July 18 to 31, Maestro Riccardo Muti will work on selected pieces of “Cavalleria rusticana” by Pietro Mascagni and “Pagliacci” by Ruggero Leoncavallo, as per program 2020.
After the first four seasons entirely dedicated to Verdi (with productions of Falstaff, Aida, Traviata and Macbeth), season of 2019 was dedicated to Mozart. If the choice of the genius of Salzburg would seem to contradict the Italian vocation of the Academy, in reality the chosen opera –Le Nozze di Figaro—was written and performed in 1786 with an Italian libretto by the poet Lorenzo da Ponte. In spite of numerous difficulties, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart wanted at all costs compose his first “Italian opera”, and so it is this opera that in Ravenna has been the test bench for five world famous promising conductors: Jiannan Cheng (China), Nicolò Umberto Foron (Italy), Felix Hornbachner (Austria), Stephen Lam (China), and David Quang Tho Bui (Vietnam).
According to Maestro Muti, by teaching Italian opera to young musical talents from all over the world we not only offer to young conductors the opportunity of learning directly from the Verdi tradition, but we also teach and promote the beauty and depth of the Italian opera, showing methods and criteria that are disappearing. Indeed, the Riccardo Muti Italian Opera Academy deals with showing the public the necessary work for the realization of an opera: the complex path from the first piano rehearsals to the rehearsals with the orchestra and the singers as well as the deep analysis of the score from both the musical and the dramatic point of view, up to the final execution.