[Festivals Stories] Grandezze & Meraviglie - Festival Musicale Estense
Grandezze & Meraviglie - Festival Musicale Estense is the longest-running early music Festival in Emilia Romagna (Italy). It was born in 1998, on the occasion of the 500th anniversary of the transfer of the Este capital from Ferrara to Modena (1598 - 1998). In the past 23 editions, Grandezze & Meraviglie has organised more than 400 concerts, 112 conferences and tens of concert-lessons and educational courses. The mission of Grandezze & Meraviglie is to promote early and baroque music, with special attention to the rich repertoire of the ex-Este ducal family's territory, conserved in the Biblioteca Estense.
During this long year of lockdowns and physical distancing, the pandemic hit the whole live performance sector hard. Like many other music festivals, Grandezze & Meraviglie - Festival Musicale Estense faced serious challenges too: the loss in ticket revenues, the decline in state and private funding and the difficulties in maintaining a close relationship with the audience.
The Festival is held every year from September to December. Luckily, we managed to stage the majority of the scheduled live concerts for 2020, in spite of the audience limits. When new restrictions were imposed in Italy in late November, four concerts were still missing. We decided to arrange them anyway, without the audience. The exhibitions were recorded and broadcast in live streaming on the official Facebook and YouTube pages of the Festival. Furthermore, thanks to the collaboration of ASLA (National Academy of Sciences, Literatures and Arts of Modena), we also broadcasted series of cross-disciplinary conferences "Languages of Arts". The results went way beyond our expectations: the Facebook page coverage grew by 30%; the views on YouTube increased by 43% and the watching-time rose by 66%.
The pandemic was indeed a stimulus for a rethinking of our online presence. We have decided to increase investments in technical adjustment and technological improvement. In fact, we are going to set up a multimedia room in our headquarters in Modena next autumn: an investment that is worth 8000 - 10000 Euros. This multimedia room will provide a brand new interactive space for the audience to participate in the Association's cultural initiatives. With the project "Rete Armonica" ("Harmonic Network"), we will be able to promote the digital archive of the Festival and disclose the audiovisual material gathered during 24 years of activity. The aim is to post a large part of it on our social media channels and on our website, making it available for everyone who is fascinated by the early music.
The pandemic showed us that the promotion of early music repertoire should not stop with the live concerts. We have understood that a more efficient use of digital instruments can provide new ways to promote and spread the Este heritage. Even though the recordings cannot replace the live events, the video streaming technologies are valuable tools to instil a culture of continuous learning.
More information: https://www.grandezzemeravigli...
(General Editor: Simon Mundy)
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