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Castell Peralada: Orlando Brings Together Woolf and Handel

Xavier Pujol

Peralada’s Festival, one of the most important summer festivals in the Costa Brava (Catalonia), has premiered a new production for Handel’s Orlando, a risky bet for a title outside the mainstream operatic repertoire. This was a winning bet both for the musical quality of the interpretation as well as for the theatrical interest of the new production. The young Sevillian stage director Rafael R. Villalobos was charged with this project. He brought together on stage the...

The Great Lucia from Nadine Sierra and Javier Camarena

Xavier Pujol

Liceu continues with safe bets for guaranteed box office sold outs. Last month we had La Bohème and now for the closing of the season arrives Lucia di Lammermoor. The great title by Donizetti was presented with a premium cast: Mexican tenor Javier Camarena as Edgardo and North American soprano Nadine Sierra as Lucia for her debut at the theatre. The production, from 2015, came from the Bayerische Staatsoper, signed by Polish actress and theatre director Barbara Wysocka. The...

La Bohème moves to the Banlieue

Xavier Pujol

La Bohème, the title that never fails, the joy of the box office, has come back to Liceu. For over a hundred years La Bohème has continued to work perfectly around the world. Firstly, this is due to the underlying moral and ethical codes continuing to be largely valid, with little variations. And because the late Romantic and bourgeois concept of love (and sex) and of couple relationships on which it is based continue to be largely shared in the Western...

Sondra Radvanovsky: Three Times a Queen at Gran Teatre del Liceu

Xavier Pujol

Although initially planned for the 23rd December, but later postponed due to the pandemic, we were able to finally witness – spread in two performance on the 6th and 8th May – at Liceu the show Radvanovsky: The Three Queens, which until now had only been seen at the Lyric Opera of Chicago. The Three Queens consists of the overtures and final scenes from Anna Bolena, Maria Stuarda and Roberto Devereux, the so called ‘Tudor Trilogy’ by Gaetano Donizetti. The...

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,...

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