Back for the 34th year, this traditional festival brings together some of the greatest artists from music, dance and theatre in a single space — the fantastic Peralada Castle. Set in the gardens of the majestic Medieval Peralada Castle Park, the auditorium is the ideal venue for concerts on a summer night. Every summer, great operas, concerts and recitals are featured on the stage, with prestigious soloists, great ballets put on by the best international dance companies and jazz and pop concerts.
Although the full programme of events has not yet been revealed there are three amazing classical productions announced thus far, that we are most excited about and these are the subject of this week’s blog. We will write an updated blog in the early spring when other performers and productions have been added. This fantastic festival usually commences mid July and finishes mid August.
Castell Peralada photo by Gordito1869
Peralada Castle, built in the ninth century under the name Castell Toló, was once at the heart of the county of Peralada, and today it’s been declared a national asset of cultural interest. The building as it now stands was constructed following a fire during the French invasion of the Empordà as part of the crusade against Catalonia by Felip l’Ardit (Philip the Bold of France) in 1285. Towards the 14th century the Gothic castle started to be built, but there’s little left of the original construction nowadays. The estate was acquired in 1923 by Miquel Mateu i Pla, a Catalan politician and businessman, and the castle is still in the Mateu family. During the months of July and August, the gardens are opened for the Festival Castell de Peralada.
Founded in 1987 out of the love of music of its president, Carmen Mateu, the Festival is regarded as one of the major arts events of the summer. This wonderful festival has four stages: the Auditori Parc del Castell, Carme Church, Cloister of Carmen and Cotton Club Terrace. Each one offers a different programme that varies, from opera to ballet and pop music. It is an exceptional high calibre international event in a such perfect setting that offers magic and splendour. In addition there are guided tours and quality wine tastings available.
Castell Gardens Auditorium photo by Festival Castell Peralada
The multidisciplinary philosophy of the festival comes with the desire to enrich the national cultural heritage and has allowed the festival to cross borders to become considered as one of the most important cultural events in the whole of Spain.
Opera and Classical Highlights
This opera is one fo Verdi’s classics! Egypt is at war with Ethiopia. Aida, daughter of the Ethiopian king, has been captured by the Egyptians. Secretly, she loves an Egyptian general, Radamès, who returns her love. When Radamès is selected to lead a renewed assault against the enemy, Aida is forced to choose between betraying her country and betraying her heart. This is being performed for the fist time at this festival with an exciting new production. The cast is headed by fabulous soprano Sondra Radvanovsky in the title role. Sondra Radvanovsky is a globally celebrated artist. The depth and exquisite timbre of her voice are matched by her dramatic acting ability and versatility across a remarkable range of repertoire,
Date: Wednesday 5th August and Friday 7th August 2020 at 22.00hr at the Castle Gardens Auditorium.
Brian Jagde in Concert
Festival Castell de Peralada has an impressive reputation for showcasing the most amazing of up and coming new talents and Brian Jagde is certainly that! This young American tenor has appeared at the most prestigious venues globally. Jagde’s many awards include second prize and the Birgit Nilsson Wagner/Strauss Prize at Operalia (2012) and first prize at the 2014 Loren L. Zachary National Vocal Competition (2014). He is particularly famed for two roles – Don José in Carmen and Pinkerton in Madama Butterfly and is widening his repertoire constantly. This performance takes place in a stunning 14th century church.
Date: Thursday 6th August 2020 at 20.00hr at the Carme Church.
William Christie – Les Arts Florrissants
Harpsichordist, conductor, musicologist and teacher, William Christie is a pioneer in the rediscovery and introduction of French Baroque music to a wide audience. leading the legendary instrumental and vocal group Les Arts Florissants, they will perform a unique program of motets in the Carme Church. Founded exactly 40 years ago in Paris by William Christie, this vocal and instrumental ensemble is one of the world’s leading early music formations. The Assistant Director of Music alongside Christie since 2007 has been British tenor Paul Agnew.
Date: Saturday 8th August 2020 at 20.00ht at Carme Church.
There is something incredibly special about a festival in a historic castle, a certain type of magic that is an unmissable summer event for lovers of dance , opera and the lyric arts.
Castell De Peralada photo by Josep Renalias Lohen11
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