Founded in 1985, the Music Day is an event held on June 21st every year, in order to celebrate the summer solstice, and involves more than 120 countries around the world. One of its main functions is to improve the cultural and social life of a community through the music offer: for this reason, the urban setting is the best solution for an adequate realization of the union among the places of the cities, the musicians and the people. It is a moment of strong aggregation and cohesion, that promotes the values of Italian cultural heritage, improving and promoting a positive relationship between citizens and institutions.

Naples is one of the Italian towns that participate with great diligence and enthusiasm in Music Day. For the appointment on June 21st, 2021, the Conservatory “San Pietro a Majella” (https://www.sanpietroamajella.it/), one of the most important and prestigious musical institutions in Italy, presented a refined program which also marked the resumption of live activity after many months of online concerts in streaming. From 15th to 20th June, were organized in the Auditorium Scarlatti of the Conservatory an international piano competition and two piano recitals. Moreover, in the cloister of the Conservatory was held a performance of the acting group directed by Maria Luisa Bigai, based on Jean Tardieu’s Monologues.

Poster of the Music Day 2021 in Naples. Courtesy of Conservatory “San Pietro a Majella” in Naples.

On June 21st, in the Auditorium Scarlatti took place a celebration of music with piano recital, jazz concert, chamber music, harp concert, plectrum quartet. Moreover, a saxophone quartet offered a concert at the Basilica of Pietrasanta in the historical center of Naples. This variety of instruments and musical genres testifies to the high level of skill and specialization of the young students of the Conservatory.

The climax of the Music Day 2021 was in the Church of Purgatory ad Arco (https://www.purgatorioadarco.it/en/), another wonderful location in the historical center of Naples which also hosts exhibitions, performances and video installations. The young singer Antonia Elide Facciuto offered, with Alessandro Schiano Moriello at the piano, a Meeting with Johannes Brahms. Then, the Choir of the Conservatory with the conductor Antonio Berardo created a suggestive moment with the Liebeslieder Walzer, op. 52. At the piano four hands there were Salvatore Biancardi and Francesco Pareti, the poetic readings (in German and Italian) were offered by Daniela Del Monaco. This program develops the work of the “LiebesLab” laboratory, with the participation of some students of the singing classes at the Conservatory: 4 sopranos (Adriana Cordua, Stefania Mazza, Monica Patricelli, Martina Villacidro), 3 contraltos (Maria Cristina D’Alessandro, Antonia Elide Facciuto, Sabrina Vitolo), 3 tenors (Giovanni Battaglino, Davide Chiodo, Mattia Totaro), and 3 bassos (Antimo Dell’Omo, Luigi Di Martino, Pasquale Petrillo).

Maestro Antonio Berardo. Courtesy of Conservatory “San Pietro a Majella” in Naples.

Based on folk songs and love poems, this work by Brahms is usually performed with four solo voices or with mixed choir voices. Maestro Antonio Berardo had carefully identified, within the 18 lieder, an alternation between the parts for solo voices and the parts for the entire choir. It was a very ambitious operation, considering the musical and vocal complexities of this repertoire, the texts in German language, the rhythmic difficulties. The young conductor successfully transferred the refinement and elegance of this music to the performers, well determining the character of each individual lied.

Maestro Antonio Berardo is a brilliant talent of the Conservatory “San Pietro a Majella”, with a relevant international experience in Europe: he has conducted concerts in Malta (2003), London (2004), Budapest (2006), Ljubljana (2007), France (2008 and 2011), and in the main Italian towns. During his musical performance, the audience is able to appreciate his sensitivity to create a lively human synergy between the members of the choir, a friendship that is naturally strengthened by the common love for music that unites all the singers. His charisma determined the success of this Music Day 2021 in Naples.

On June 21st, 2021, the Conservatory “San Pietro a Majella” confirmed – once again – its tradition of high musical education, and its young talents had the emotion of performing live after many months of online concerts in streaming. It was also a great emotion for the audience.

This post was written by the author in their personal capacity.The opinions expressed in this article are the author’s own and do not reflect the view of The Theatre Times, their staff or collaborators.