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Aleix Palau | 1 March 2022

The third edition of Barcelona Obertura Spring Festival sets out to transform Barcelona into ‎the capital of classical and lyrical music

The Gran Teatre del Liceu, the Palau de la Música Catalana and L’Auditori de Barcelona ‎present a new edition of the festival, organised by Barcelona’s leading concert halls in ‎conjunction with Barcelona Global, with support from Barcelona City Council, through its ‎Department of Tourism & Creative Industries and the Barcelona Institute for Culture.‎

The third edition of Barcelona Obertura Spring Festival sets out to transform Barcelona into ‎the capital of classical and lyrical music

The three organising bodies will host concerts featuring artists such as Alondra de la Parra, ‎Carolyn Sampson, The Tallis Scholars, Denis Kozhukhin, Janine Jansen, Alexei Volodin, Les ‎Siècles, François-Xavier Roth, Ian Bostridge, and Teodor Currentzis.‎

This year is the third edition of Barcelona Obertura Spring Festival, an event scheduled to ‎take place from 6 to 30 March jointly devised by the Gran Teatre del Liceu, the Palau ‎de la Música Catalana and L’Auditori de Barcelona, with the collaboration of Ibercamera, the ‎Conservatori del Liceu and the Franz Schubert Filharmonia. The festival–which ‎continues to pursue its original mission to position Barcelona high in the ranks as a city of ‎culture and music–is an initiative by the three concert halls and Barcelona Global, with the ‎support of Barcelona City Council, through its Department for Tourism and Creative ‎Industries and the Barcelona Institute for Culture, with funding from local tourist tax. ‎


Barcelona Obertura Spring Festival
On the occasion of its 175th anniversary, the Liceu has chosen to stage Pelléas ‎et Mélisande by Claude Debussy, based on a theatrical ‎drama by Maurice Maeterlinck. The opera will be performed at the Gran ‎Teatre from 28 February to 18 March in an eerie, fanciful, dreamlike production by artist in ‎residence Àlex Ollé, filled with enigmas and symbolism. Josep ‎Pons will conduct the Gran Teatre del Liceu Symphony Orchestra and ‎Choir with skill and energy, accompanied by a superb cast headed by ‎‎Stanislas de Barbeyrac (Pelléas), Julie Fuchs (Mélisande) ‎and Simon Keenlyside (Golaud). Pelléas et Mélisande invites ‎audiences to immerse themselves in a symbolic world infused with poetry. The set design by ‎‎Alfons Flores is closely reminiscent of the aesthetics of film-maker David ‎Lynch. Water plays a key role in Ollé’s production, which also features ‎‎Susana Gómez as stage director. In fact, the stage set even includes a ‎shallow pond, with strong symbolic connotations in the interaction of the characters. ‎
The Palau de la Música Catalana has scheduled eight events as part of the festival. The first ‎marks the debut of Alondra De La Parra in its Modernist concert hall with ‎Die Deutsche Kammerphilharmonie Bremen and violinist María Dueñas, in ‎a performance of works by Sibelius, Ginastera and Dvořák. Carolyn ‎Sampson, at the head of group of soloists, and the ensemble Forma Antiqva will ‎perform Giulio Cesare in Egitto by Handel. ‎‎Vox Luminis will make their debut in the Henry Purcell programme by ‎performing the operas King Arthur and The ‎Fairy Queen. On 12 March, The Tallis Scholars will visit ‎the Palau to commemorate the 500th anniversary of the death of Renaissance composer ‎Josquin Des Prés. On 23 March, baritone Johannes Kammler and pianist Akemi ‎Murakami will offer an afternoon of lieder, with the song cycle ‎‎Dichterliebe by Schumann, together with ‎works by Ravel and Liszt. On 24 March, Les Siècles and conductor François-Xavier ‎Roth will return to Barcelona to pay tribute to Stravinsky, ‎commemorated in 2021 on the 50th anniversary of his death. Lastly, on 28 March, the young ‎pianist Alexandra Dovgan, a disciple of Grigory Sokolov, will perform a solo ‎piano concerto in the emblematic Modernist concert hall. ‎

L’Auditori de Barcelona has devised four programmes for the festival, ‎three to be performed by the Barcelona Symphony Orchestra (OBC) and ‎a fourth programme of chamber music. As part of L’Auditori’s Rachmaninoff ‎Festival, on the weekend of 11 and 13 March, Kazushi Ono will ‎conduct the OBC, accompanied by pianist Denis Kozhukhin, in a ‎performance of Piano Concertos Nos. 1 and 2, in addition to works by Prokofiev ‎and Shostakovich. Violinist Janine Jansen and Denis Kozhukhin will ‎present a programme of chamber music made up of sonatas by Schubert, Brahms and ‎Beethoven.‎

Together with cellist José Mor, Barcelona Symphony Orchestra will ‎perform a symphonic poem inspired by the misfortunes of Don Quixote. ‎The orchestra will also perform Visions by Takemitsu and the ‎world premiere of Jordi Cervelló’s L’harmonia de les ‎formes. Conductor Francesc Prat and tenor Ian Bostridge ‎will round off the programme of events, at the head of the OBC, in a performance of the ‎cantata The Plague by Gerhard and Les ‎Illuminations by Britten, accompanied by L’Auditori’s Ensemble O ‎Vos Omnes, the Palau de la Música Chamber Choir and Cor Madrigal.‎

The festival will also feature another important symphony concert, sponsored by ‎‎Ibercamera and L’Auditori de Barcelona: a performance of ‎‎Symphony No. 1 by Brahms and Nikodijevic’s ‎‎Viola Concerto by the Stuttgart SWR Symphony ‎Orchestra, conducted by Teodor Currentzis at L’Auditori de ‎Barcelona.‎

The Franz Schubert Filharmonia, conducted by Tomàs Grau with soloist ‎Alexei Volodin at the piano, will perform Piano Concerto No. 2 ‎by Brahms and Symphony No. 5 by Tchaikovsky. For its part, the Vienna Radio ‎Symphony Orchestra, under the baton of Marin Alsop, will ‎perform works by Eisendle, Schumann and Dvořák at a concert organised by BCN Clàssics. ‎Both concerts will be held at the Palau de la Música Catalana.‎


Obertura City+
In parallel with this, a new edition of Obertura City+ will take place, with ‎the special support yet again of Barcelona City Council. It will continue to make music more ‎accessible to the people of Barcelona by offering a circuit of 28 free concerts in ten different ‎neighbourhoods of the city, based on three themes: Female Composers, upholding them ‎through performances of the music they composed; European Fusion; and Ode to ‎Contemporary Music, which turns the spotlight on 20th and 21st century classical music. The ‎concerts will be held in 22 different venues, including three libraries from Barcelona’s ‎network of libraries and the Museu de la Música.‎

Vera Martínez, Elena Rey, Noelia Rodiles, the Trio da Vinci, Mariona Camats and Cristina ‎Cordero are some leading names who will take part in Obertura City+. The programme will ‎also feature ensembles from the Gran Teatre del Liceu, Palau de la Música Catalana and ‎L’Auditori de Barcelona’s regular pool of musicians, together with students from the ‎Conservatori del Liceu and ESMUC. In total, over 100 musicians will take part in the 28 ‎concerts, held at 22 different venues. Some of these venues are the same as previous ‎editions, such as the Museu Nacional d’Art de Catalunya (MNAC), Casa Batlló, Fundació Miró, ‎La Modelo Prison, Auditori de Sant Martí and the Pere Pruna, La Sagrera and Fort Pienc civic ‎centres.‎

Over 40 different organisations will be involved in the festival, whose two previous ‎editions in 2019 and 2021 were a great success. This year’s edition features over forty ‎different events. Tickets for the festival can be purchased on the website www.barcelonaobertura.com.

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