Background to Ponte Cultura

Organising something in Corsica - for Corsica, has been a long standing dream. Simply bringing wonderful musician friends to the island to play Summer concerts did not feel like quite enough. There are already so many small Summertime festivals flourishing all over the island.Welcome to lovers of all the Arts, lovers of Corsica, to the curious and the adventurous. Ponte Cultura is a cultural link between Corsica and Britain, thanks in great part to Pasquale Paoli, the great intellectual and leader who was exiled in London for over 30 years. You are invited to browse through our whole website. It will be updated every month with new links and new details which you may find of interest if you plan to visit Corsica or the UK. We are open to your ideas and we welcome your participation.

I recently started teaching more seriously and invited my class of five students from Manchester to join my parents and friends in Vero. Vero is the hilltop village in which my grandparents lived and where my mother grew up. Early on in our week together, the idea took shape and has since had an energy all of its own.

The first competition for young Corsican classical talents in 2011 was a surprising and thrilling success. I had no inkling of the existing enthusiasm of Corsican students and teachers to meet and collaborate. Much talent emerged from all corners of the island, and the already high quality of the teaching there was apparent. The concert following the competition was so full that we had audience sitting in the aisles and spilling into the church square, braving the rain! Some extraordinary guests - Jean Paul Poletti and his male chorus drove for hours to open the concert with traditional Corsican song. Frequenza Mora, the Corsican radio was very involved and supported us utterly, spending the whole day broadcasting live from the village, interviewing the teachers and students. By the end of the week, I realised it was young Corsicans we had to focus on, and not just musical youngsters but those with artisitic gifts of any kind.

The hope is to connect young people - as well as the young adults already well established as artists on the island - with London, the place where I grew up and where my family now lives, and to offer them all the opportunities that I was lucky enough to have. Well over 500 Corsicans now live in London that we know of, and ACRUPP, the Corsican Association is blossoming and the historic link lives on. Our 'Brief History of Corsica' and 'Pasquale Paoli in London' sections will enlighten you on this island to island connection. From living in many different countries and from my constant travels, I have made many artist friends and colleagues all over the world. These too I would like to share with anyone curious to explore the Arts outside Corsica, most specifically in the UK.

Each Ponte Cultura festival will work towards structuring a week of music, visual arts and creative writing, and each successive festival will develop in some way so as to eventually offer opportunities to youngsters within all of the arts- visual, traditional, literary, theatrical, food, movement, design, architecture. 

 With every new year, the sense of connection to maman's home island, to the mystery and power of the landscape and the depth of the history, is a source of great strength and escape for me. The tutors and collaborators invited to join Ponte Cultura will be special colleagues and friends, those who appreciate the majesty of the island the way I have grown to, and those who take pride in sharing their experience and skills with the next generation.

In the future, I see a cultural centre in a historic building of its own, set high up on its own hilltop with extraordinary views, where talented artists of all ages can come and work intensively as part of masterclasses, exhibitions, apprenticeships, traditional concerts or experimental performances. A Foundation will be established and the centre will become known all over the world for its generous facilities and unforgettable location.

For now, we begin in the humble mountain village of Vero with its generous and tolerant villagers, its visionary mayor Christian Leca and the enthusiastic and gifted village association L'Acciarinu ('the spark'). Vero has already hosted wonderful events such as the long running 'Nuit du Conte' - a festival of storytelling which lasted over 15 years. We hope to carry this energy and artistic initiative forward.

Enjoy our website and revisit us anytime you have a moment to explore and adventure through the links that have been included.

Pace e salute a tutti,

Miranda




It is a great privilege for Ponte Cultura to have the legendary conductor Sir Neville Marriner, founder-director of the Academy of St. Martin in the Fields, as our patron, adviser and friend. Sir Neville has conducted every great orchestra in the world, and is without a doubt an icon of the classical music world.

'Of all things to celebrate about Ponte Cultura, perhaps the most remarkable is the vitality and enthusiasm that Miranda has brought to engage the youth with promising talent for the art of Music in Corsica. The excitement of looking into the future for the arts is provisional on what is made to happen NOW. This is Mirandas expertise and it is a competence I am very happy to endorse.'