Girona's Temporada Alta Festival to stage African version of 'Macbeth' and solo-performance of Catalan classic 'Lowlands'
The renowned performing arts festival Temporada Alta has revealed the first big names for its 23rd edition, which will take place in the cities of Girona and Salt (north-eastern Catalonia), from the 3rd of October until the 8th of December. The headliner on the international scene this year is MacbETH, an adaptation by Brett Bailey of Verdi’s opera relocated in the centre of post-colonial Africa and sang by twelve African voices. Pau Miró's adaptation of Angel Guimerà's Catalan classic Terra Baixa (Lowlands) in a solo-performance by the actor Lluís Homar and the play Ruz-Bárcenas, based on the 2013 corruption scandal involving the People's Party (PP), are also amongst the more than 90 shows that will perform in this festival that is a springboard for fresh talent.
Girona (ACN).- From the 3rd of October until the 8th of December the cities of Girona and Salt, in north-eastern Catalonia, will welcome the 23rd edition of the performing arts festival Temporada Alta. More than 90 national and international productions will perform on the festival’s stage this year. Big names include MacbETH, an adaptation by Brett Bailey of Verdi’s opera relocated in the centre of post-colonial Africa and performed by twelve African musicians, and Terra Baixa (Lowlands), a classic of the Catalan theatre written by Angel Guimerà and adapted by Pau Miró in a solo-performance by the actor Lluís Homar. Committed to promoting the current Catalan theatre, the festival will also stage Ruz-Bárcenas, a play by Jordi Casanovas and Alberto San Juan based on the 2013 corruption scandal involving the People's Party (PP), which runs the Spanish Government. Temporada Alta continues to be a gateway for Ibero-American productions in Europe, presenting 5 productions from 4 different countries which include the Argentinian play Viejo, Solo y Puto by Sergio Boris. Other performances such as Teixint la Pau (Knitting Peace) by the Nordic contemporary circus school Cirkus Cirkör, the concert for children and families Suite n.1, Els Batecs del Cargol (Suite n.1, The Snail’s Beats) by Paulo Lameiro and the musical Trilogia MozArt – Così fan Dei Furbi 2 (MozArt Trilogy - Così fan Dei Furbi 2) by the winner of the 2014 Max Award for best musical, the Catalan theatre company Dei Furbi, are also on the line-up. This year's edition counts with even more support from the Fundació La Ciutat Invisible (Invisible City Foundation) and its associated organisation El Cercle CT which, together, keep strengthening the festival’s image on the international scene and the business field. The full programme of the Temporada Alta 2014 will be released on the 4th of September.
This autumn, Temporada Alta Festival will become once again a pillar for the Catalan cultural scene. The 23rd edition line-up includes some of the most recent and original international shows from the field of performing arts along with new national productions. The festival takes place in two neighbouring cities, Girona and Salt, displaying a total of 90 different shows.
Promoting the Catalan theatre and committed to current affairs
In order to promote the Catalan theatre inside and outside the country, Temporada Alta continues to invest on young talent, creations and authors from Catalonia.
Amongst this year’s debuts is a version of Terra Baixa (Lowlands). Written in 1896 by Àngel Guimerà, this classic of the Catalan dramaturgy is now adapted by the director Pau Miró in a solo-performance by the actor Lluís Homar, who called this scenic challenge “a fantastic madness”.
Ruz-Bárcenas by the Catalan playwright Jordi Casanovas and the Spanish producer and actor Alberto San Juan is also coming to this year's Temporada Alta. In this one-hour play about the 2013 corruption scandal involving Spain's ruling People's Party (PP), the actors Manolo Solo and Pedro Casablanc interpret word by word the second interrogation of the judge Ruz to the previous treasurer of the PP, Luís Bárcenas, who is currently in jail accused of millionaire frauds and is the main element of an ongoing judicial investigation involving many of the PP's big names. This reproduction of an episodic moment of the country’s current affairs that can be easily mistaken as fiction requires reflection and promotes critical thinking.
MacbETH – an African version of Verdi’s opera
MacbETH, an adaptation of the Italian opera Macbeth composed by Giuseppe Verdi and based on a William Shakespeare's play, is now relocated by Brett Bailey and twelve African musicians in the centre of Africa. Between wars and ruthless exploitation, Bailey includes the original topics of betrayal and ambition. This is a very ambitious, intimate and visual production that represents a clear commitment from Temporada Alta to promote contemporary opera and theatre.
Accompanied by an orchestra of 13 musicians from Kinshasa, in the Democratic Republica of Congo, the countertenor Serge Kakudji will sing different songs from various Baroque composers. The production integrates the Baroque tunes and lyrics with the Congolese traditional rhythms, rock and jazz, creating a new universe of contemporary music and image.
A gateway for Ibero-American productions in Europe
Temporada Alta continues to collaborate with other European theatres and festivals such as the Berlin Foreign Affairs Festival, the Théâtre Garonne in Toulouse and the Automne Festival in Paris. It has also revalidated for the second consecutive year the partnership with Iberescena, an international programme of the Spanish Ministry of Culture that aims to promote the Ibero-American performing arts in Europe.
Five productions from four different countries will be presented this year. Among them is the Argentinian hyper-realistic play Viejo, Solo y Puto (which would translate into English as Old, Alone and Cunt) directed by Sergio Boris. Through two pharmacists, a medical representative and his two travesties friends who are trying to mute the mediocrity of their lives with lukewarm beer, cold pizza and all sort of chemicals in the back room of a pharmacy in the slums of Buenos Aires, Boris brings the audience face-to-face with the hidden and dark corners of the Argentinian society and the human soul.
In this way, Temporada Alta strengthens its role as a gateway for Latin-American productions in Europe.
Families and other productions
The 23rd edition of the festival will also include more productions for families. Concerts for babies, one of Temporada Alta’s most successful events, returns this year with a new production named Suite n.1, Els Batecs del Cargol (in English, Suite n. 1, The Snail's Beats). Under the artistic guidance of the creator Paulo Lameiro, this production is aimed for children up to 3 year-old who will have the opportunity to enjoy performing arts with their families and the performers.
Another returning company is the winner of the 2014 Max Award for best musical, the Dei Furbi theatre company, who is going to present the premier of its new show Trilogia MozArt – Così fan Dei Furbi 2 (in English, MozArt Trilogy - Così fan Dei Furbi 2). Under the direction of Gemma Beltran and with an extensive CV that includes some of the most famous Mozart operas such as Le Nozze di Figaro (The Marriage of Figaro), Don Giovanni and Così Fan Tutte (Thus Do They All), Dei Furbi presents a theatre style that combines collective creation techniques with the Carnival spirit and the human comedy along with a poetic and lyrical language.
The renowned Nordic contemporary circus school Cirkus Cirkör will also step on the stage of Temporada Alta Festival with its leading showpiece Teixint la Pau (Knitting Peace). This production is the second phase of a long process in which the Swedish company explores the intrinsic characteristics of circus through different ways of expression that, above all, are understandable to everyone and able to leave the public with their mouths open.
The support of Fundació La Ciutat Invisible
After twenty-three editions, Temporada Alta has not stopped in looking for new funding and strengthening relations with the local economic and social sectors. In this way, Fundació La Ciutat Invisible (which would translate as The Invisible City Foundation) has been even more involved with the festival this year. For the past few months, its sub-organisation El Cercle CT has been promoting the festival in the international scene and promoting a better dialogue between personalities from the business and cultural fields. The economic support from El Cercle CT has been crucial for Temporada Alta, allowing it to stage renowned international productions such as this year’s modern opera MacbETH.