Theater, opera, music and ballet are some of the great spectacles you’ll find in Spain in 2014. We recommend four special events for your next Spanish adventure.
Life is a Dream by Calderon de la Barca
National Classical Theatre Company
Teatro Pavón, Madrid // March 19 – April 20, 2014
Life is a Dream. National Classical Theatre Company.
Madrid’s prestigious National Classical Theatre Company will present one of the most successful theatrical productions of recent years: Life is a Dream by Calderón de la Barca, a classic of Spanish Baroque literature.
Since its premiere at the Festival de Teatro de Almagro, Ciudad Real, in July 2012, this version, written by Juan Mayorga and directed by Helena Pimenta, has garnered praises from the public and critics alike.
Life is a Dream is considered a masterpiece for its structure and transcendental nature. The actress Blanca Portillo, sublimely representing the role of a man, portrays with conviction and passion, the role of the tormented Sigismund.
Pedro Calderón de la Barca (1600-1681) is one of theater’s greatest innovators. The acclaimed dramatist, considered one of the finest playwrights of world literature, placed great emphasis on the importance of stagehands and special effects, aspects that are even more evident in the excellent staging of this emotional play.
Winterreise, Op. 89, D 911 by Franz Schubert
Nathalie Stutzmann, contralto; Inger Södergren, piano
Teatro de la Zarzuela, Madrid // January 27, 2014
Nathalie Stutzmann, born in Sureness, France, in 1965, is a French contralto that specializes, like no other, in the genre of chamber and baroque opera. She is one of the most popular singers today thanks to a prodigious voice, cavernous and powerful. Her interpretation of Schubert‘s Winterreise, a role written for a male voice is a vocal prodigy, and the recording of this work is considered a gem for bel canto aficionados.
Since 1994, Stutzmann is accompanied by pianist Inger Södergren in recitals, recordings and live performances. Winterreise is a work of great elevation, structural complexity and drama. The two-dozen poems by the German poet Wilhelm Müller, used by Schubert as texts for different vocal themes, become a pure delight in Stutzmann‘s voice.
Sevilla Suite by Antonio Najarro
National Ballet of Spain
Teatro Principal, Vitoria // February 27, 2014
Suite Sevilla. National Ballet of Spain.
The National Ballet of Spain, the state dance company currently led by dancer and choreographer Antonio Najarro, is a well-known ambassador of Spanish culture around the world.
In Suite Sevilla, lovers of flamenco and Spanish classical dance can enjoy a special choreography that, thanks to the talent and the unique language of its director and creator Antonio Najarro, seamlessly blends new cutting-edge techniques with the best of the Spanish flamenco tradition.
The score by Rafael Riqueni captures aromas, traditions, longing and nostalgia for Andalusia. The guitars, along with the rest of the instruments, converge to describe the passionate nature and idyllic landscapes of southern Spain.
From the Reapers War to the Peace of Aachen
Jordi Savall & Le Concert des Nations
Gran Teatro del Liceo, Barcelona // May 24, 2014
Jordi Savall is an exceptional performer in today’s international music scene: an artist, teacher, researcher and creator of new musical and cultural projects, he is one of the architects of the current revaluation of historical music. Recognized worldwide and always full of lively emotion and spectacular creative vitality, his work aims to faithfully reflect the essence of historic and ancient music.
His concerts, performed on period instruments, are soulful thanks to their honest simplicity, a successful combination of rigor, virtuosity, curiosity and proximity. Savall is, in turn, an expert performer of the viola da gamba, credit that has helped him become one of the great figures in classical music.
The concert in Barcelona next May at the Teatro del Liceo, with his orchestra, Le Concert des Nations, collects a repertoire spanning six centuries of music, including works by Joan Baptista Cabanilles, Antonio Caldara, Heinrich Ignaz Franz von Biber, Matthew Locke, Antonio Vivaldi, Georg Friedrich Handel, and anonymous Catalan composers. ■