Riccardo Muti, Zell Music Director of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, has expanded the footprint of his acclaimed Italian Opera Academy, which he founded in 2015. Through 2021, he will bring his Academy, which fosters the art of Italian opera, to the Spring Festival in Tokyo.

Regarded as the world’s foremost interpreter of Verdi, Muti established the Academy to continue a lineage that connects the maestro to the composer through his own teacher, Antonino Votto, who in turn studied with Arturo Toscanini, a personal friend, colleague and champion of Verdi. The Academy has been held every summer in Ravenna, Italy, since 2015 and has focused on Falstaff (2015), La traviata (2016), Aida (2017) and Macbeth (2018).

The Tokyo arrangement began this year with Muti exploring the intricacies of Rigoletto with the participants. The sessions began March 28 and ran through April 4, concluding with a concert version of Rigoletto at Tokyo’s storied Bunka Kaikan. Next year, Muti and his Academy will return to the Spring Festival with Macbeth, followed by Un ballo in maschera in 2021.

TOP: Riccardo Muti instructs a young conductor at the Spring Festival in Tokyo. | Photo: ©Satoshi Aoyagi/Spring Festival in Tokyo