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Otello at Liceu, a Psychological Drama

Xavier Pujol

Otello’s ship has to overcome the storm to get into port – in order to get to Liceu, the opera Otello had to overcome several storms. Firstly, the replacement of the announced conductor, Riccardo Frizza, by Gustavo Dudamel. With this piece, the Venezuelan conductor – who had already opened the season at Liceu with a concert version of Il Trovatore – directed his first staged opera in Spain. Secondly, the announced production from the Royal Opera House directed by...

A Carmen on the edge at the Gran Teatre del Liceu, Barcelona

Xavier Pujol

In Barcelona, Carmen always comes as a balm for the arks of a theatre that is constantly in a financial crisis. Carmen is a comfortable title, it gets a full house, and this was not an exception. It was presented in the "outrageous" version by Calixto Bieito, originally created for the Festival of Peralada, which has been running around the world for 15 years, conveniently adapted, with a significant success. It is a difficult, risky production.  Carmenis a fleshy,...

Heroic Lessons In Love and Violence at Liceu

Xavier Pujol

Composer George Benjamin affirmed that the performances in Barcelona of Lessons in Love and Violence were a moving and “heroic” act. This was during the press conference for the presentation of the artists which he attended via video call. It was certainly the case. With half of Europe having their theatres closed, facing the Spanish première of such a difficult piece was quite a challenge, which Liceu undeniable overcame. It is worth remembering that Liceu had...

A Magnificent Recycled Hoffmann at Gran Teatre del Liceu

Xavier Pujol

These aren’t good times for new productions, theatres’ pockets are empty and everyone makes do as they can. For the performances of Les contes d’Hoffmann, Liceu had to rescue from the storage the production directed by Laurent Pelly, accredited Offenbach specialist. This same production was shown in Barcelona in 2013 and in a way it was already a re-elaboration of the work Pelly himself had done ten years prior for the Lausanne opera house with the same team...

Silences that Speak. La Traviata at Liceu

Xavier Pujol

La Traviata managed to premiere at Liceu on the 5th December, but had to cancel performances during the following days due to the context of endless push and pull between the cultural Catalan institutions and the health authorities around maximum audience capacity numbers permitted at concert halls and theatres. La Traviata came back to the stage from the 14th and perhaps will, finally, manage to survive as the strong point of the theatre's festive period. This greatly...

Sis Solos Soles at the Liceu

Xavier Pujol

Sis solos soles (Six solos alone) consists of six brief monodramas for a female singer accompanied by a single instrument, moving between drama, tragedy and macabre comedy. These take place in six different domestic spaces at six points of the life cycle. This was an innovative proposal that Liceu, in co-production with Òpera de Butxaca I Nova Creació, offered to six contemporary composers to showcase the diverse lines of current musical creation. The project was due to...

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