When the chorus sang ‘Oh mia patria sì bella e perduta!’—'Oh, my country so beautiful and lost!'—I thought to myself that, if we slay the culture on which the history of Italy is founded, truly our country will be beautiful and lost.
In 2011 at the Teatro dell’Opera in Rome, the great conductor Riccardo Muti, singers, and the public came together to sing “Va Pensiero” to denounce budget cuts by the Italian Ministry of Culture. Watch a video of this incredible moment, with a translation of Muti’s famous speech below. (Video in Italian with English subtitles).