Friday night at the Vatican Museums

VATICAN CITY – This year, the Vatican Museums renew the now familiar appointment with the opening of their doors at sunset, from May 6 to July 29 and from September 2 to October 28, 2016, every Friday from 1900 to 2300 hours (last entry at 2130).

The Nocturnes want to first confirm the attention of the Vatican Museums to the public of Rome. The invitation, in fact, in addition to the extension to the thousands of tourists from all over the world, is directed mainly to all those citizens who wish to contemplate the priceless treasures in the pontifical galleries but do not have time during the usual opening hours, because they are engaged in family and work-day activities.

The opening night of the Museums of the Pope becomes, therefore, a good opportunity to visit them under unusual lighting and in the comfort of less-crowded areas and away from the heat of the day.

Again this year, the music festival entitled “The Music of the Museum,” the result of the collaboration between the Vatican Museums, the Academy of Santa Cecilia, and the National Committee of Italian Music (CIDIM), the fruitful marriage between art and live music will offer the public a series of concert events.

Through the plurality and diversity of the proposed appointments, the Vatican Museums intend to stand as a universal stage and elective crossroads of all art of the different cultures of the world. From the variety of the proposals, it means an openness of diversity from Tango Argentino to the singing of the Russian Choir of Moscow, and from jazz to band music. The musical genres of different worlds will be presented as different forms yet from a single art.

The great classical music will be witnessed by the Academy of Santa Cecilia at the Salone di Raffaello. With large bands in the Cortile della Pigna, the focus rests on the rediscovery of the tradition of popular songs, while the Gregorian Profane Museum will be an exceptional stage to give a voice to young talents of three conservatories of Italy: Giuseppe Verdi in Turin, the Ottorino Respighi in Latina, and Fausto Torrefranca of Vibo Valentia.

“One night in late spring or summer inside the Vatican Museums,” said Professor Antonio Paolucci, Director of the Vatican Museums, “or a moonlit night over the dome seen from the Cortile della Pigna or the Terraces of the Gallery, similar to the moon that Raffaello painted in St. Peter’s Liberation of the ‘rooms’ – is not this already a magical vision worthy of William Shakespeare in ‘A Midsummer Night’s Dream?’

“Add the distributed music, performed and heard in various places of the Vatican Museums – the music of popular songs or the sophistication of the best talents of our academies of music, the music of the Russian Choir of Moscow, Argentine Tangueros, and jazz bands – [and] … is not this (music and visual arts, awe, listening, and emotion) something very close to happiness?”

It all starts Friday, May 6, with the Tango concert by Mario Stefano Pietrodarchi which, together with his orchestra, in the courtyard of the Pigna in the Vatican Museums, will conduct music by Martin Palmeri and Astor Piazzolla.