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Barcelona's performing arts summer festival Grec to be opened by Catalan dance company La Veronal

Barcelona's summer Festival Grec is the city’s main yearly event for theatre, dance, music, circus and other stage arts, taking place from the 1st to the 31st of July. On Wednesday, the Festival's Director, Ramon Simó, announced that the dance show 'Vorònia' by Catalan company La Veronal will open the event, also disclosing some of the shows in the 2015 programme. This year, the Grec will celebrate its 39th edition and by now it has become a milestone on the European festival calendar. The event’s title is taken from its main venue: the Greek Theatre, on Montjuïc, an open-air theatre built for the 1929 Universal Exhibition. In total, last year's edition attracted 127,471 people, of which 79,254 went to see shows which required payment (79 in total).

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17 April 2015 09:46 PM

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ACN

Barcelona (ACN).- Barcelona's summer Festival Grec is the city’s main yearly event for theatre, dance, music, circus and other stage arts, taking place from the 1st to the 31st of July. On Wednesday, the Festival's Director, Ramon Simó, announced that the dance show 'Vorònia' by Catalan company La Veronal will open the event, also disclosing some of the shows in the 2015 programme. This year, the Grec will celebrate its 39th edition and by now it has become a milestone on the European festival calendar. The event’s title is taken from its main venue: the Greek Theatre, on Montjuïc, an open-air theatre built for the 1929 Universal Exhibition. In total, last year's edition attracted 127,471 people, of which 79,254 went to see shows which required payment (79 in total).


Barcelona's summer Festival Grec will start this year with 'Vorònia', a new dance show by Catalan company La Veronal and a Festival co-production with Paris and Berlin's partners, which will be on stage on the 1st and 2nd of July. In 2014, it was officially opened by the international company Gallim Dance ('Wonderland').

Ramon Simó has announced that this year's programme will include a greater number of international co-productions, dance shows and plays. On the other hand, he said, the amount of music concerts and circus shows will remain the same as last year.

During Wednesday's press conference, the Festival Director has particularly focused on the music concerts of the 2015 programme, announcing around 30 performances. Catalan singer-songwriter Joan Manuel Serrat will have a prominent role in the music programme, performing in the Teatre Grec from the 4th to the 8th of July. The artist will present his latest album 'Antologia desordenada' (in English, 'Disorderly Anthology'), in a live performance, accompanied by music director Ricardo Miralles and set designer Max Glaenzel.

Also Catalan Viol master Jordi Savall, who in 2012 received the equivalent to the Nobel Prize for Music, will be performing in Teatre Grec, where he will conduct the ensemble Hespèrion XXI in 'Bal·Kan. Mel i sang', (in English, Bal-kan. Honey and Blood), a musical journey through Balkan music.

Other musicians to perform at Teatre Grec will be: Ismael Serrano, Diego el Cigala (with a concerto for piano and voice), Kyle Eastwood, la Nit de musicals (together with the Barcelona Municipal Band), Yann Tiersen, Els Amics de les Arts and Nit de Tango (with Daniel Pipi Piazzolla and Buika).

Smaller-scale performances by local artists will also take place in the gardens of the ancient theatre. The programme – organised by music journalist Albert Puig - includes Sénior, Halldór Mar, Joan Rovira, Esther Condal, Clara Andrés, Fred & Son, Xarim Aresté, Coriolà, Judit Nedermann i Yacine & The Oriental Groove.

A series of shows will be also held in other locations all around the city

A series of shows will be also held beyond the setting of the historic theatre. For example, Agustí Fernández will perform in Mercat de les Flors and Sala Barts will host concerts by Lambchop, Lila Downs, Ane Brun, la 'Guerra' d'Albert Pla with Refree and Fermin Muguruza, Christopher Cross, the choirs In Crescendo and Cantabile, Lee Fields and the Elektroopical Fever Fest.

While pianist Clara Peya will play in the nightclub Luz de Gas, Jamboree (a Barcelona-based Jazz Club) will host the sextet of Andrea Motis, Joan Chamorro, Juan Perro, Paquito D'Rivera, Carla Cook Quartet, and Anton Jarl & Original Jazz Orquestra Taller de Músics.

The only theatre play officially known to be part of the 2015 programme at the moment is another co-production of the Grec, in this case, with Anexa. The ancient theatre will host the premiere of 'Amor and Shakespeare' (in English, Love and Shakespeare), a production by Guillem-Jordi Graells with set design by Josep Maria Mestres. An important list of Catalan actors will participate, such as: Laura Aubet, Sílvia Bel, Jordi Boixaderas, Roger Casamajor, Àlex Casanovas, Ariadna Gil, Joel Joan, and Mercè Pons i Rosa Renom. The actors will play various characters drawn from Shakespeare's masterpieces, in a show that aims "to gather fragments of the author's great love scenes and transfer them to the stage with a specific storyline", Simó revealed in advance.

The total number of shows will approximately remain the same as last year

The Festival's Director has admitted to not having "fulfilled" last year's promise of reducing the number of shows for 2015. Indeed, this year the festival will host around 90 performances, a figure similar to last year's one. "It is good to maintain a high rate of production and programming", he argued, "because this gives room to a greater range of proposals that go beyond what you know will work", he said.

The majority of the Festival's programme will be announced in May, although the music concert programme is practically closed. Still, most of the outstanding theatre, dance and circus shows are yet to be announced. What is known is that the unofficial opening of the festival, (a free entrance street event) will change location once again and this year will take place in Margarida Xirgu square, where at least two concerts by local artists will also be held, in addition to "many more surprises."

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  • 'Old Times' by Harold Pinter, performed at last year's Grec Festival (by P. Francesch)

  • The dance show 'Wonderland' opened last year's Grec Festival (by P. Cortina)

  • 'Old Times' by Harold Pinter, performed at last year's Grec Festival (by P. Francesch)
  • The dance show 'Wonderland' opened last year's Grec Festival (by P. Cortina)