The 3rd Barcelona Obertura Spring Festival
The Barcelona Obertura Spring Festival, which is promoted by the Liceu Opera house, the Palau de la Música Catalana and the Auditori de Barcelona, and enjoys the collaboration of Ibercamera, the Conservatori del Liceu and the Franz Schubert Filharmonia, is being held between March 6 and 30. Since its beginnings, the objective of the festival has been to ensure Barcelona’s position on the map as a leading city of culture and music. Also promoted by Barcelona Global, the festival has Barcelona City Council’s support, which is channelled through Department of Tourism and Creative Industries and the Barcelona Institute of Culture and benefits from funds raised by the levy on tourism.
Barcelona Obertura Spring Festival
In its 175th year, the Liceu is presenting the opera Pelléas et Mélisande by Claude Debussy, based on a work by Maurice Maeterlinck. From February 28 to March 18, the dreamlike production by resident artist Àlex Ollé takes the stage at the Gran Teatre del Liceu. It is a disturbing production, full of enigmas, symbolism and a phantasmagorical atmosphere. Josep Pons will be conducting the Symphony Orchestra and Chorus of the Gran Teatre del Liceu in a display of talent that boasts a star-studded cast headed by Stanislas de Barbeyrac (Pelléas), Julie Fuchs (Mélisande) and Simon Keenlyside (Golaud). Pelléas et Mélisande invites the audience to enter a poetic world exuding symbolism, where the scenography of Alfons Flores, with Susana Gómez as stage manager, draws on the aesthetics of filmmakers such as David Lynch. Water is a central element in Ollé's production, with the stage including a shallow pond that plays an important symbolic role.
The Palau de la Música Catalana has programmed eight concerts as part of the festival. In her first appearance in the modernista hall, Alondra De La Parra conducts the Deutsche Kammerphilharmonie Bremen and violinist María Dueñas in works by Sibelius, Ginastera, and Dvorak. Next, Carolyn Sampson heads up a group of soloists who, together with the ensemble Forma Antiqva, are performing Händel's opera Giulio Cesare in Egitto. And Vox Luminis will make its debut with Henry Purcell’s operas King Arthur and The Fairy Queen. On March 12, The Cortes Scholars visit the Palace to celebrate the 500th anniversary of the death of the Renaissance composer Josquin Des Prés, while on March 23, baritone Johannes Kammler and pianist Akemi Murakami will star in Schumann's song cycle Dichterliebe, complemented by works by Ravel and Liszt. On March 24, Les Siècles and conductor François-Xavier Roth return to Barcelona to pay tribute to the work of Stravinsky, who died just over 50 years ago. Finally, on March 28, the young pianist Alexandra Dovgan, a disciple of Grigory Sokolov, will perform a solo piano concert in the iconic modernista building.
The contribution of the Auditori de Barcelona to the festival consists of four concerts, three performed by the Barcelona Symphony Orchestra and the National Orchestra of Catalonia (OBC), and one chamber music concert. As part of the Auditori's Rachmaninoff Festival, on the weekend of March 11 and 13, Kazushi Ono conducts the OBC with pianist Denis Zozhukhin in Piano Concertos nos. 1 and 2 and in works by Prokofiev and Shostakovitx. And on March 15, violinist Janine Jansen and Denis Kozhukhin present a chamber music program consisting of sonatas by Schubert, Brahms and Beethoven.
On March 18, 19, and 20, The Orquesta Sinfónica de Barcelona y Nacional de Cataluña will perform Strauss’s symphonic poem based on the misadventures of Don Quixote, with José Mor on cello, Takemitsu's Visiones, and the world premiere of Jordi Cervelló's La armonía de las formas. And on March 25 and 26, the concert program will be completed by conductor Francesc Prat and tenor Ian Bostridge, who will lead the OBC in Gerhard's cantata La Peste and Britten's Illuminations, accompanied by the Ensemble U Os Omnes del Auditori, the Cor de Cámara del Palau, and the Cor Madrigal.
The festival will also host a further outstanding symphonic event at the Auditori de Barcelona organized by Ibercamera: Teodor Currentzis will be conducting the SWR Stuttgart Symphony Orchestra in a concert comprising Brahms' Symphony No. 1 and Nikodijevic's Viola Concerto.
Lastly, the Franz Schubert Filharmonia, conducted by Tomàs Grau and with pianist Alexei Volodin as soloist, will perform Brahms' Concerto for Piano and Orchestra No. 2 and Tchaikovsky's Symphony No. 5. And the Vienna Radio Symphony Orchestra conducted by Marin Alsop, in a concert organized by BCN Clàssics, will offer works by Eisendle, Schumann and Dvórak. Both concerts will be held at the Palau de la Música Catalana.
With the special support of the Barcelona City Council, Obertura City+ will continue to bring music closer to all Barcelona's citizens. 29 free concerts spread throughout the ten districts of the city will revolve around three themes: women composers, fusion Europe, and lastly, ode to contemporary music, which highlights the classical music of the 20th and 21st centuries. The concerts will be held in 22 different venues, including three libraries belonging to the Barcelona Library Network and the Museum of Music.
Vera Martínez, Elena Rey, Noelia Rodiles, the Trio da Vinci, Mariona Camats and Cristina Cordero are some of the most outstanding artists performing in the City + series. The program also features members of the permanent ensembles of the Gran Teatre del Liceu, the Palau de la Música Catalana and the Auditori de Barcelona, as well as students from the Conservatori del Liceu and ESMUC. There are 29 concerts with more than a hundred musicians in 21 different venues, some of which have featured in previous years, for example, the National Art Museum of Catalonia (MNAC), Casa Batlló, Miró Foundation, the Modelo Prison, the Auditori de San Martí and the civic centers Pere Pruna, La Sagrera and Fort Pienc.
Following the success of the two previous events held in 2019 and 2021, the Spring Festival benefits from the involvement of more than forty organizations, and this year's festival will feature more than forty concerts.
Tickets for the festival concerts can be purchased at: www.barcelonaobertura.com
The promotional video of the festival can be found at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wA5UqRSaDEA
Tickets are also available at:
- Liceu: https://www.liceubarcelona.cat/es/programacion
- Palau de la Música: https://www.palaumusica.cat/es/entradas-individuales_180114
- Auditori de Barcelona: https://www.auditori.cat/es/venta-de-entradas
Book your free ticket for Barcelona Obertura City+: https://www.barcelonaobertura.com/en/barcelona-obertura-spring-festival-1