Mittelfest is music, theatre, dance, cinema, encounters. Mittelfest is a town –Cividale – which has made its landscape and urban fabric into a stage. Every summer in Friuli Venezia Giulia for the last 25 years Mittelfest has shone its arclights on a common European identity. More than that, it has helped shape it.
Mittelfest’s highlights have included works by such luminaries as Pina Bausch, Eimuntas Nekrosius and Luca Ronconi as well as testimonies from Biljana Srbljanovic and Lech Wałęsa. It has showcased the stories of Peter Handke, Vaclav Havel, Claudio Magris and Krysztof Kieślowski, and revealed unpublished pages by Franz Kafka and Pier Paolo Pasolini. It has given a voice to the words of poets and the sensitivity of composers, from Wisława Szymborska to Sofia Gubajdulina.
Mittelfest has played host to stars like Isabelle Huppert, Franco Battiato and Mikhail Baryshnikov, while keeping an ear to the ground for new talents which its geographical position has enables it to detect: directors and choreographers such as Tomaž Pandur and Ivica Buljan, Josef Nadj and Angelin Preljocaj. Contemporary Italian figures have passed through Cividale before making the international scene: Emma Dante, Pippo Delbono and Antonio Latella.
With the new 2015- 2017 project, Mittelfest turns its attention to the enhancement and safeguarding of the natural environment and the function that routes on water (2015), in the air (2016) and over land (2017) have always performed. Water, air and earth – natural elements and vehicles of migration, encounter and dialogue between peoples and civilisations.
In the year of the Expo, water and its colours take centre stage as a vital resource under threat, a common but finite asset for the whole of mankind, an inspiration for the imagination and a means of communication par excellence. Founded on the Natisone river flowing under the Devil’s Bridge, Cividale is itself a “city of water”.
Besides, the architectural and urbanistic features of Friuli Venezia Giulia, the festival also highlights the region’s natural landscapes, using the range of live performances and events – over fifty this year – to recount the complexity of the triangle formed by water, air and earth: distinct elements, common assets.
Coming soon, next mid-June, the official presentation and further information on the 2015 Festival, which gets under way on July 18th.