Here’s more about the new Festival…
Every rampart of Lucca’s iconic walls will ring with free music for “E lucevan le stelle,” a new Festival organized by the new city administration for the evening of San Lorenzo, Wednesday, August 10, 2022 – the evening when tradition says that wishing on a falling star will make your dream come true.
If you ever wondered what was inside those cute little “houses” atop the city’s iconic walls, the city says that that night every barrack will open to share its treasures with the public for free, and even the city’s civic towers – the tree-topped Torre Guinigi and the medieval Torre delle Ore – will allow visitors to climb to the top that evening for just a reservation and 3 euros.
Why make the effort?
Remo Santini, Lucca’s new Assessor for Tourism believes the city has so many musical stars to showcase and so many professionals willing to contribute their talents, that the city hopes not only tourists, but Lucchesi too, will benefit from hearing more from them.
Undoubtedly, Lucchesi will also be delighted to know that the performances will cost the city “zero” according to Santini because so many cultural organizations have been willing to donate their services in the effort to jumpstart “tourism for the educated” in the city.
Mayor Mario Pardini, whose administration just took office on June 27, 2022, also is proud to point out how quickly they have been able to organize the event and is hopeful that it will become an annual celebration.
Spectators will be free to stroll the walls and enjoy the concerts from the starting point of their choice. They can stay in place to hear their favorite musicians or continue along the passeggiata on the walls until they hear what appeals to them.
Giacomo Puccini’s works will be performed at the flagship Caffé delle Mura, but music by ancient composers to contemporary ones will be present at different stations on the eight bulwarks. The music also will be supplemented by exhibits of armaments, flags and the clothing of assorted historical periods important to Lucca in barrack museums on the walls that will be open free of charge.
The event promises to be especially entertaining for families and their children and no tickets are required.
Caffé delle Mura – “A Grand Lyrical Gala of Puccini’s Works” by soprano Fabiola Formiga and tenor Giovanni Cervelli, accompanied by pianist Diego Fiorini from Associazione Puccini e la sua Lucca.
Bulwark of San Paolino – Pianist Massimo Salotti from the Catalani Association and Sinfonia, will present “Impressions…realistic ones”, a repertoire of works by Alfredo Catalani, Giacomo Puccini, Pietro Mascagni e Umberto Giordano.
Barracks of Santa Croce – Associazione Laboratorio Brunier presents “Sound Suggestions from the Stars” with passages from Catalani, Puccini, Luporini, and Pacini played by the Ensemble Brunier Lucca, a string quartet with piano. Followed by contemporary Lucchese composers Lucia Bianucci, Mauro Fabbri and Stefano Teani, with homages to Puccini and the poet Giovanni Pascoli, particularly his poem in honor of the feast day X agosto. Loredana Bruno will then recite poetry accompanied by musical improvisations by con improvvisazioni Maria Bruno and flutist Agnese Manfredini. Theatrical costumes for Puccini’s heroines designed by Franco Nieri will also be on display.
Bulwark San Frediano – After a reading of poems by Giovanni Pascoli honoring the day, Animando and Virtuoso & Belcanto presents “How I met Puccini… waiting for 2024” with soprano Ilaria Casai, flutist Agnese Manfredini and Fabia Simini, cello, playing arias by Puccini in a debut arrangement by Valentina Ciardelli.
Bulwark San Martino – Soprano Silvana Froli, flutist Sara Tomei and other musicians from the association La Boheme, present South American music as well as “The Women of Puccini” featuring some of Puccini’s most famous arias.
Bulwark San Salvatore – Will feature Soprano Greta Buonamici, a student of the Istituto Musicale “L. Boccherini” accompanied by pianist Simone Rugani of the Associazione Musicale Lucchese, presenting passages from Debussy and Puccini.
Bulwark San Regolo – FLAM presents “Singing in Music”, a concert of classical and lyrical music by , Puccini, Catalani, Mozart, Haendel, Ravel and others with Soprano Chiara Ramello, Mezzosoprano Tania Notte and Pianist Isabella Gori. They will share the stage with Sagra Musicale Lucchese who with Niccolò Bartolini on the piano and Valeria Del Soldato on the violin, proposes a musical journey from Mozart to Lucchese Alfredo Catalani, from Giacomo Puccini to Dvořák, up to Astor Piazzolla, a contemporary Argentinian-American composer whose mother was from the province of Lucca.
Barracks San Colombano – Outside one will hear the orchestra Filharmonie in collaboration with the Centro Studi Boccherini, presenting a repertoire dedicated to the Lucchese composer of the famous “Minuet”: Luigi Boccherini; while inside the barracks an artistic homage to Puccini’s twelve operas by the painter Tito Mucci, entitled “Vissi d’Arte” will be shown.
Other areas open to celebrate FREE of charge:
- The San Paolino Barracks (Contrade di San Paolino Association),
- San Frediano barracks (Flag-wavers and Musicians Association of the City of Lucca and the Historica Lucense Association),
- San Pietro Barracks (Crossbow Association),
- San Colombano Barracks (Luigi Study Center Boccherini and Associazione Musicale Lucchese),
- Castle of Porta San Pietro (Associazione Lucchesi nel Mondo),
- Casermetta della Zecca (Museum of the Mint)
- Casa della Memoria, places that tell stories and legends suspended in time.
People are also invited to climb the two city towers, from 9pm to 11.30pm (last tour) with a reduced price ticket, to admire the starry sky and the beauty of the city from a privileged point of view.
One can climb the more than 200 steps to the top of the Guinigi Tower to see its tree-filled garden suspended in the sky and admire the 360 degree view, or one can climb the ancient Torre delle Ore with its unmistakable profile that marks time in Lucca thanks to an ingenious and famous eighteenth-century mechanism.
The entrance to the towers will be at a reduced price (3 euros) and, given the limited capacity, people are encouraged to purchase their tickets online (https://cultura.comune.lucca.it) or by calling the ticket office (0583 48090).
For information about the event, call the Tourist Information Point (0583 442213), or visit the city’s website: turismo.lucca.it, the city app for events (https://eventi.turismo.lucca.it) or via Facebook social channels (LuccaTurismo) and Instagram (Turismo Lucca) where complete musical program information and updates will be posted.