NIEMEYER’S “GIFT" FOR RAVELLO: THE AUDITORIUM
Inaugurated in 2010, the Auditorium Oscar Niemeyer represents a flagship of modern architecture. It has hosted many famous artists such as the violinist Salvatore Accardo, the conductor Riccardo Muti and the pianist and composer Roman Vlad.
by Barbara Iovine
Sun and sea are the perfect business card for a holiday on the Amalfi Coast, but its enchanting pearls have much more to offer. Breathtaking panoramic terraces, trekking routes, culture, and architecture can suit all kinds of interests.
The city of Ravello has been given the title of the "City of Music", thanks to the many festivals and concerts it serves as a stage.
Today I want to talk about one of the most characteristic places hosting these events: the Oscar Niemeyer Auditorium.
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Auditorium Oscar Niemeyer - Ravello
The idea and the project of the great Niemeyer
The idea of the Auditorium construction comes from the need to provide a covered structure allowing to extend the musical season, which was usually limited to the summer period and enjoy these unique events all year round instead.
The design of the project was assigned to the well-known Brazilian architect Oscar Niemeyer who, in the name of his friendship with the sociologist Domenico De Masi, Ravello Foundation’s former president, gifted the “concept” of the Auditorium to the people of Ravello. However, Niemeyer had never been to the city of music himself, so he could only imagine how fascinating it is. He knew of course that the place designated for the construction was not chosen at random, but that it would have indeed enjoyed one of the most enviable views in the world, the same of the nearby Villa Rufolo.
What better way to enhance its potential than a stunning panoramic terrace? It is the icing on the cake that gives tourists and Ravello inhabitants a spectacular viewpoint over the Gulf of Salerno.
In his immense modesty Niemeyer closed his presentation of the project with these words:
“… and I start to imagine, satisfied, this built square, worthy (perhaps) of the city of Ravello, one of the most beautiful in Italy…”
The Auditorium over the sea
The Auditorium, inaugurated in 2010, today represents a flagship of modern architecture. It has hosted many famous artists like the Italian singer Lucio Dalla, the saxophonist Nicola Alesini, the violinist Salvatore Accardo, the conductor Riccardo Muti and the San Carlo Theater Choir. It is also the place where the Wagner Prize has been assigned to the famous conductor, pianist and composer Roman Vlad. Over the years, it has become a popular location for many high-importance cultural events.
The structure has a concave shape, similar to the mandolin’s sound box, that guarantees excellent acoustics: dance and theater performances, concerts, meetings, conferences, and film screenings are just some of the events that take shape in this superb Auditorium suspended over the sea.
Niemeyer's style is recognizable in the sinuous shapes of the Auditorium and in the way it fits the surrounding environment without changing it. The beauty of this architectural masterpiece can be felt since the arrival: if you pay attention, you will notice the curved lines of the structure recalling those of a female figure lying on her side while admiring the amazing panorama of Ravello. The charm of the landscape is the protagonist both inside and outside: the structure has a large access window and behind the orchestra, through a porthole, it is possible to see the external panorama.
In the summer, the Auditorium hosts the Ravello music festival, attracting fans from all over the world, and it offers also periodic exhibitions of sculptures and artistic works. During your stay in the city check if there are any scheduled, it could be an interesting experience!
Niemeyer together with the miniature of the project sent a note saying:
“It's not the perfect angle that attracts me, and not even the straight, hard, inflexible man-made one. What really attracts me is the free and sensual curve. The curve that represents the meeting of the mountains of my homeland, the figure of a beautiful woman, the clouds of the sky, and the waves of the sea. The same curves which create the Universe. The curved Universe of Einstein."
Looking at his Auditorium, you can understand how these free and sensual curves enchant all visitors, especially because of the unmatched beauty of the surrounding landscape.
Auditorium Oscar Niemeyer
Via della Repubblica, 12
84010 Ravello SA
Guided tours by reservation only: The guided tour of the Oscar Niemeyer Auditorium will allow you to learn about the history, architecture, urban and cultural value of the great Auditorium designed by Oscar Niemeyer.
The visits are in Italian. For visits in a foreign language (English, German, French) it is necessary to communicate this.
Info and requests:
Tourist Office tel. 089.857096
N.B .: The Auditorium is currently closed for renovations
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