An initiative aimed at all members of the public, featuring leading international names such as Valery Gergiev, Kent Nagano, Plácido Domingo, Diana Damrau, Daniil Trifonov and Matthias Goerne. It features some forty performances in emblematic settings in Barcelona, all with free admission.
On Monday February 5th, Barcelona Obertura presented the Barcelona Obertura Spring Festival, due to be held from March 4th to 17th 2019: the first of its kind to be jointly organised by the city’s key music institutions. The initiative fostered by the Gran Teatre del Liceu, the Palau de la Música Catalana and L’Auditori, is also supported by Ibercamera and promoted by the association Barcelona Global. This city-wide, dynamic, cross-cutting project, aimed at and accessible to all members of the public, also has the support of Barcelona City Council.
The festival’s programme of events has been established as an urban cultural attraction, offering visitors a distinctive insight into Barcelona through a new experience that invites people to take a second closer look at the city. It represents a big step forward for Barcelona Obertura, an initiative founded in July 2015 aimed at putting Barcelona’s classical music on the world map and transforming the city into a destination for music tourism.
The festival’s presentation took place at L’Auditori, with the participation of the Chairman of Barcelona Obertura, Ramon Agenjo; the project director, Víctor Medem; Barcelona Global’s CEO, Mateu Hernández; the director general and artistic director of the Gran Teatre del Liceu, Roger Guasch and Christina Scheppelmann; the director and assistant artistic director of the Palau de la Música Catalana, Joan Oller and Víctor Garcia de Gomar; the manager and artistic director of L’Auditori, Jordi Tort and Robert Brufau; and the director of Ibercamera, Montserrat Crespo.
"This festival is an unparalleled form of publicity for the city of Barcelona and, very importantly, has emerged from civil society. It is a festival organised for all members of the public by these institutions and it will help to put Barcelona on the map as an international destination for cultural tourism,” said Ramon Agenjo, Chairman of Barcelona Obertura.
Barcelona Obertura Spring Festival will be presenting 14 concerts and performances featuring major international names such as Valery Gergiev, Kent Nagano, Jonathan Nott, Kazushi Ono, Josep Pons, Jordi Savall, Plácido Domingo, Diana Damrau, Matthias Goerne, Carlos Alvarez, Joel Prieto, Bejun Mehta, Daniil Trifonov, Grigory Sokolov, Jean-Yves Thibaudet, Leif-Ove Andsnes, Tabea Zimmermann, Jean-Guihen Queyras, RIAS Kammerchor, the Mariinsky Theatre Symphony Orchestra, the Gustav-Mahler Youth Orchestra, Claus Guth and the soprano Irene Théorin. In each case, the corresponding institution’s resident or regular orchestras and choirs will be closely involved, such as the Orfeó Català, the Barcelona Symphony and Catalonia National Orchestra and the Gran Teatre del Liceu choir.
New productions will be premiered at the festival, like the version of Beethoven’s 9th Symphony by the Agrupació Teatral Sr. Serrano and Les Vespres by Joan Pau Pujol, sung by Jordi Savall and the Jove Capella Reial de Catalunya. Another major incentive is the selection of works to be performed at the festival, with emblematic choices like Stravinsky’s The Rite of Spring, Mahler’s 3rd and 5th Symphonies, Tomás Luis de Victoria’s Requiem, Schubert’s three major song cycles (The Beautiful Miller’s Daughter, Winterreise and Schwanengesang), Handel’s Rodelinda, Rachmaninov’s concerts for piano and orchestra and Prokofiev’s cantata, Alexander Nevsky.
A city overflowing with concerts
The festival organisers will coordinate some forty different performances, held in several of the city’s emblematic buildings (Casa Batlló, the Museu Nacional and Fabra i Coats) and also in its municipal concert halls and establishments. For these concerts, all with free admission for the public, a special format has been envisaged that breaks away from the usual conventions associated with them. This entails the creation of a network of music across the city designed to engage all members of the public.
The performers will be chosen by each corresponding institution’s artistic director and a committee will be formed to select the Barcelona musicians who answer the public call to take part in the festival. Different generations of performers, various types of formations and all genres of classical music will be featured. A network of volunteers will also be appointed through a public invitation for collaborators to help in the production and organisation of the concerts.
The Barcelona Obertura Spring Festival is yet another step on the road by Barcelona Obertura to promote the city’s programmes of classical music worldwide and to position Barcelona as a world destination for music and cultural tourism.
The festival’s programme of music will be funded by each of the institutions taking part and with financial aid from Barcelona City Council through the Barcelona Institute for Culture.
Since Barcelona Obertura’s launch in July 2015, three seasons of music have been organised, with groups of events to mark key moments in the year. They combine to form a fascinating programme of concerts with a strong international appeal. For the past year, Barcelona Obertura has also had its own organisational structure and budget.
Over this period, with the support of Turisme de Barcelona (the Barcelona Tourism Office), six international press trips have been organised (December 2015, April 2016 and January, March, May and October 2017) with 20 international music journalists in attendance, mainly from Germany, the UK and France. Likewise, the festival has been featured in the press about twenty times. Barcelona Obertura has also taken part in a promotional roadshow organised by Turisme de Barcelona and the Catalan Tourism Agency in Asia and it will participate in another in the United States this February.
Lisi Andrés | 5 February 2018
The 1st Barcelona Obertura Spring Festival gets underway
The first classical music festival jointly programmed by the city’s leading institutions.