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The Costa Brava’s music and theatre Festival of Porta Ferrada ends being an almost sold-out event


The 51st edition of the International Festival of Porta Ferrada, located in the Costa Brava town of Sant Feliu de Guíxols, closed its doors with an average attendance of 91%. The event contained 21 music, theatre and dance performances, which had a total attendance of 11,105 people, 10,296 who paid for tickets and 890 going to the free events on offer. 6 shows were complete sell-outs: 5 of the 10 in the Espai Port (the main stage of the festival), and the ‘Concerts per a nadons’ (Concerts for babies). Albert Mallol, Artistic Director of the Porta Ferrada festival, told the CNA that it is important try to find new venues to be added to the iconic locations that already exist in order to increase the amount of musical and theatre performances.

August 21, 2013 09:10 PM

L’Escolania de Montserrat boys choir prepares for its first ever tour in the United States


Next March, L’Escolania de Montserrat, one of the oldest music schools in Europe and one of the most famous children’s choirs, will carry out its first ever tour in the United States. On the 13th, 14th and 16th of March 2014 the choir will sing in concerts in the cities of New York, New Jersey and Washington, respectively. Following this landmark tour they will continue to offer performances throughout Catalonia and then they will begin the recording of their new album. The last time the choir group sang in the Americas was in January 2004 when they played in Puerto Rico. L’Escolania de Montserrat is based in the Benedictine abbey of Santa Maria de Montserrat, located in the centre of Catalonia, and has produced many prevalent composers and performers down the years.

August 20, 2013 09:29 PM

Jordi Savall turns the Early Music Festival of Poblet Monastery into a great success

ACN / Gaspar Pericay Coll

Held in UNESCO’s World Heritage Poblet Monastery, the first edition of the Festival of Ancient Music was a sell-out, and will have a second edition next year, according to the organisers. The Festival was launched by the Catalan conductor, interpreter, composer and researcher Jordi Savall, who in 2012 received the Léonie Sonning Prize, considered Music’s equivalent of the ‘Nobel Prize’. The event aimed “to compensate” for the lack of such music festivals in southern Catalonia and also to honour the memory of soprano Montserrat Figueras, who died in November 2011. Figueras was one of the greatest vocalists and experts in Early Music and Savall’s life partner. The first edition of Poblet Festival included 3 concerts by Jordi Savall, all played within the monastery’s church, which is the location of the most of the tombs of the old Catalan kings.

August 19, 2013 02:26 PM

Costa Brava’s Festival of Peralada Castle hosts the world premier of the chamber opera ‘Wow!’


This Wednesday, the world premier of the chamber opera ‘Wow!’ takes place at the Festival of Peralada Castle, located in northern Catalonia’s Costa Brava. The libretto is inspired by texts written by Oscar Wilde and Walt Whitman, building a relationship between the two poets. The opera will be staged in the cloister of El Carme Church in Peralada, which has a capacity of 400 people. The play is structured in a single act with a prologue and four scenes. It explores the themes of dreaming, death, ascension and immortality. The score and the text are the work of Catalan composer García Demestres, while the stage director is Xavier Albertí, who is the new Director of the National Theatre of Catalonia (TNC).

August 14, 2013 09:00 PM

Thousands of fans enjoy weekly music event Piknic Electronik in Barcelona

Julian Scully

This summer, electronic music fans have the chance to enjoy a weekly music festival in Barcelona with renowned DJs such as Richie Hawtin, Joy Orbison, Claude Vonstroke and M.A.N.D.Y playing in a hillside park to thousands of attendees. The event, in its second year, takes place on Sunday afternoons 15 times during the summer in Barcelona’s Joan Brossa gardens with spectacular views over the city. The average attendance of each session is 2,500, “creating an intimate atmosphere”, according event organiser Jordi Ventura. “We have a loyal fan base, with the majority of attendees returning again and again because they enjoy it so much” he told the CNA.

August 14, 2013 06:05 PM

Oriol Maspons, the photographer who depicted life in Barcelona between the 1950s and 1980s, dies aged 84


Maspons was one of the greatest Catalan photographers of all time. He is famous for his pictures of the former Somorrostro slum in the Barceloneta beach, party life in Ibiza during the 1970s and Barcelona’s left-wing group of bourgeois intellectuals from the 1970s, known as ‘Gauche Divine’. Maspons worked mostly in Catalonia, but also in Paris and the States. In fact, New York’s Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) exhibits pictures taken by Oriol Maspons. He received top honours in Catalonia, such as the Catalan Government’s Sant Jordi Cross and Barcelona City’s Gold Medal. In 2010, he donated his private collection of some 5,500 pictures to Catalonia’s National Museum of Art (MNAC), which will organise a “large exhibition” on his work.

August 12, 2013 09:28 PM

Barcelona’s Grec performing arts festival is to end with more than 119,000 spectators viewing 87 shows


The 37th annual Grec Festival is to close on Wednesday with an expected increase of 1,000 tickets sold compared to last year’s edition. Festival Director, Ramon Simó, assured that the festival has been a success and that ticket targets have been achieved. With regards to the attendance by genre, theatre events were the most popular with 38,878 viewers watching 40 shows (at 44% capacity). 14,362 people watched 14 live concerts (63% capacity), 10,652 spectators watched the 8 dance shows on offer (70% capacity), while the 4 circus productions received 5,574 viewers (86% capacity). The average attendance to the festival was 52%, which considering the crisis in the performing arts sector is a significant figure according to Simó.

July 30, 2013 09:33 PM

Barcelona's Miró Foundation to hold an exhibition focusing on the horizon as a recurring theme in modern art


The Joan Miró Foundation, located in the Catalan capital, is to hold an exhibition in the 2013-14 season that will focus on the horizon as a concept in modern painting. Works on show will explore the development of the horizon in art from the 19th century to the present day. Among the temporary exhibitions that take place during next season, the museum will also show a selection of prints and lithographs from Joan Miró himself that will examine the experimentalism of the internationally renowned Catalan artist between the 1930s and 1960s. The museum will also have an exhibit of American artist Roni Horn.

July 25, 2013 02:14 PM

Barcelona’s Museu de la Música to exhibit one of the world’s most important guitar collections


From July onwards Barcelona’s music museum will give visitors the chance to view 50 guitars from their collection which is considered to be one of the best in the world according to experts. The collection includes historic guitars such as that of internationally renowned Catalan guitarist Miguel Llobet. The museum has undertaken an extensive restoration and research project in order to restore the original sound of many of these unique instruments. The Museu de la Música is part of the L’Auditori complex hall and entrance into the exhibition includes a guided tour of the collection as well as a concert in which two of the historic guitars will be showcased.

July 24, 2013 10:04 AM

A joint exhibition at Barcelona’s CaixaForum and MACBA to display vast collections of contemporary art

ACN / Pau Cortina

MACBA and CaixaForum unveiled their first joint exhibit on Thursday, which shows one of the most important contemporary art collections in southern Europe. The project is called 'Art dos punts. Barcelona viu l'art contemporani' (Art in two sites. Barcelona is moved by contemporary art) and contains a selection of 400 works by 125 artists with a focus on modern and post-modern art. The collections of both institutions contain up to 6,000 pieces. The Director of MACBA, Bartomeu Marí, explained that the aim of the project is to create a story “that challenges recent history and puts us in a better position to understand the contemporary world.”

July 18, 2013 08:53 PM

Huge tribute exhibition underway for 19th century Catalan painter Marià Fortuny

ACN / Paula Montañà

After Francisco Goya, Marià Fortuny is considered the greatest Spanish painter of the 19th century. He was deeply influenced by Goya and by his trip to Africa. His pictures are characterised by bright colours and intense dynamism. He also began to show elements of Impressionism in his work.. The exhibition contains 45 paintings that pay tribute to his 175th birthday. It is a project organised by the National Art Museum of Catalonia (MNAC) and the local museum of the artist’s hometown, Reus, near Tarragona.

July 16, 2013 02:23 PM

Delafé y Las Flores Azules: "We don't bring light technicians as […] we can fill the stage ourselves'

P.J. Armengou / Andrea Cabrera

The Catalan band Delafé y Las Flores Azules is one of the most unclassifiable groups in Spain. Their style is a mix of hip-hop, pop, indie and rock, and their concerts are an exhibition of movement, music and colour. After ten years on the stage Delafé y las Flores Azules release their fourth album, “De Ti Sin Mí/De Mí sin Ti” (You Without Me/Me Without You). The disc has two CD’s in which the band performs the same songs in two different melodies. Compared to their latest albums, this record is a more melancholic, nostalgic and less electronic product.

July 9, 2013 10:09 PM

Salvador Espriu: one of the greatest Catalan writers of the 20th century

Paula Montañà

Not many Catalan writers present the complexity and multiple facets that Salvador Espriu can offer. An intellectual committed to his nation and language, Espriu (1913-1985) was one of the greatest writers of his time. He left an extensive literary legacy, characterised by his deep words and reflections concerning death, pain and personal identity. His poems have a foundation in Cabalism and Jewish traditions, which is what makes his work so universal and what probably lends him a huge international recognition, even by writing in a minority language. This year has been called ‘Any Espriu’ (Espriu Year) in order to celebrate the centenary of his birth.

June 25, 2013 08:46 PM

Barcelona's electronic music festival Sonar breaks all records in its 20th anniversary edition

Ruth Rodríguez / Christopher D. Tulloch

With the Pet Shop Boys, Kraftwerk, 2 ManyDJs, Jurassic 5 and Laurent Garnier as guaranteed crowd pullers, the 20th edition of the Sonar Festival was a success waiting to happen. But the record-breaking attendance figures and the smooth transition from downtown Barcelona to the Fira de Barcelona’s Montjuic venue went way beyond organisers’ expectations. More than 121,000 festival-goers attended the electronic music event, which represents a 24% compared to last year’s figures. Furthermore, around 55% of the attendees were foreigners, with a great presence of people from the United Kingdom, France and Italy, but also from the United States, Australia, Russia and many other countries.

June 17, 2013 10:38 PM

The pact between Columbus and the Catholic Monarchs prior to America’s discovery on show in Barcelona


An exhibition, with documents dating from between the 10th century and 1493, displays the oldest preserved copy of the ‘Capitulations of Santa Fe’. This agreement was signed by the Catholic Kings in April 1492 and accepted Christopher Columbus’ terms to undertake the trip after which Europeans would become aware of the Americas. The document granted Columbus the titles of Admiral, Viceroy and Governor-General of all the lands he would discover and set that he would keep a tenth of all future profits. The copy dates from 1493 and it is only rarely on display. It has been kept in the Archives of the Aragon Crown in Barcelona and now is on show along with 42 other documents showing the symbolic conception of travelling in the Middle Ages.

June 12, 2013 01:43 AM

Read the latest updates and breaking news on culture and cultural topics from Barcelona and Catalonia. Keep up to date with the city’s museums dedicated to some of the biggest artists in the world such as Pablo Picasso, Joan Miró, and Antoni Tàpies, as well as other institutions such as the National Art Museum (MNAC), the Contemporary Art Museum of Barcelona (MACBA), and exhibition spaces like the Contemporary Culture Center of Barcelona (CCCB), CiaxaForum, and CosmoCaixa.