Nothing can fill the void that due to precautions before the coronavirus leave the cancellation of Mobile World Congress in Barcelona. But the boil and vitality to which he expected to be exposed the city can be redirected in part to the Barcelona Overture Spring Festival. This great party of the classical music – from March 11 to 30 – it is beginning to consolidate, in just two editions, as an eventual attraction of cultural tourism that loves music. If the goal was for people who plan to visit the city to weigh the offer of classical and opera of their main equipment before deciding on which dates to travel, the event is on the right track. Last year around two hundred tickets were sold through cultural tourism agents, and this year they are 141% more.
Up to sixteen glowing concerts are concentrated at this time in the three major musical institutions, starting with the assembly of Lohengrin that Katharina Wagner opens in the Great
Teatre del Liceu and for the Passion according to Saint John and the Passion according to Saint Matthew of Bach who will lead Philippe Herreweghe in the Palau de la Música… and following the Goldberg Variations by Lang
Lang, which raise a lot of expectation, or the Alpine Symphony of Richard Strauss with Valery Gergiev leading the OBC and the Mariinski Orchestra at the same time … Moreover, the Requiem of Verdi by Gergiev himself and Mariinsky’s. Well, Spring also has the collaboration of Ibercamera, with the Conservatori del Liceu (which this year introduces a series of master classes) and with the Camera Musicae Symphony Orchestra.
Everyone wants to be part
There are already 45 entities of the city that have been linked to the project
The condition that the City Council of Barcelona skillfully set before giving its support to the proposal – approaching the classic to citizens, flooding the ten districts of the capital with free concerts – has led to more and more entities signing up without hesitation to join of the Overture City + project, the popular section that runs parallel and in which the summoned artists are not at all minor. The entities already total 45, and among the latest additions – Fundació Tàpies, Macba, Caixa Fòrum, Maria Canals, Camera Musicae or the civic centers of La Sagrera, Can Basté or El Matas i Ramis – highlights that of the Sacred Family, which has made the space available for an event that will be unique.
It is a choral concert that will be held on March 28 between the colonnade of the main nave and at a time when the windows would still let the daylight pass. Nothing less than with the exquisite ensemble Barcelona Ars Nova directed by Mireia Barrera, accompanied by the titular organist of the basilica, Juan de la Rubia. It was announced yesterday by the vice president of the Foundation of the basilica, Mariona Carulla, while Víctor Medem, coordinator of the festival, said that “having the Sagrada Família as a partner is very important for international projection”. Thus, although it does not coincide with the dates of Holy Week, the Temple Foundation has decided to make its Easter concert with the Spring Festival, “and it is his will that every year be done like this”.
The ‘Lohengrin’ with assembly by Katharina Wagner opens the Spring Festival on March 19
Tickets are free, but due to the great avalanche of reservations that are expected through the Sagrada Família website, a raffle will be held in March with all of them. The rest of the tickets of the Overture City +, the popular section of the festival that this year proposes 30 concerts, can already be booked through the Barcelona Overture website, where the rest of the concerts are also on sale. In fact, this portal works more like a subscription window to make the most of the dates on which such a great offer coincides: another way of teaching about musical Barcelona and its unique institutions.
“The objective was to place Barcelona in the world of classical as it is, for example, in gastronomy. And bouncing it has been achieved that the whole city lives the classic as the electronics live with the Sónar or jazz with the Jazz Festival. You have to win public both inside and outside of Barcelona ”, says Joan Oller, general director of the Palau de la Música, whose successful comprehensive Beethoven Symphonies by Sir John Eliot Gardiner (culminated yesterday) was also part of the Spring Festival, a preheat mode.
“With this cycle of Gardiner it has already been seen that people have ascertained whether there was something important to attend before deciding on dates to travel,” adds Oller. And also Valentí Oviedo, general director of the Liceu, contributes a percentage that gives thought about that international effect that is pursued: “If we compare the sales of the Lohengrin next month with those of the Turandot With which we inaugurated the season of the 20th anniversary of the reopening of the Liceu, we see that the percentage of international public is now 14.4% compared to 6.4% last October. It is clear that the road is a long one, but the impression is that projects of this type have an impact ”. The Barcelona Overture Spring Festival is, on the other hand, taking advantage of the media hook of the great-granddaughter of Wagner, director of the Bayreuth Festival, to invite the international media of reference to this new production of Lohengrin del Liceu, “and the response is being overwhelming,” says Medem.
Victor Medem, coordinator
“Having the Sagrada Família as a partner is very important for external projection”
That Barcelona scores high in southern Europe for the audience that understands classical music is nothing new. The question is to compete with capitals of central Europe. In this sense, the most promising is Ramon Agenjo, president of Barcelona Overture and the Damm Foundation, for whom climate change does not affect the Spring Festival plan.
“In March in Europe people are still wearing the igloo, while here, in Barcelona, spring has arrived and when you leave a concert you go home or go out for a drink,” says the promoter of the joint venture between the Liceu, the Palau and L’Auditori. “It was not easy for them to sit together, because they are competition, but they did it quickly, and Barcelona City Hall and Tourism joined. With the Spring Festival we want to be music prescribers in Barcelona, and to prescribe is to persuade and convince people from all over the world and from our country and city to come and enjoy music. ”
For his part, Robert Brufau, director of L’Auditori, celebrates that the three great halls of the city maintain “his artistic personality”. “L’Auditori is presented as a reflection of modernity and in this sense highlights the heritage and the new creation.” It refers to the premiere of Ramon Humet ( Llum ), guest composer for the room this season, who will perform the Latvian Radio Choir, as well as the Morphological disintegration of Xacona of Bach, of Montsalvatge, work that the OBC recovers. Or the new great creation of Wolfgang Rihm, in charge of the great Nicola Benedetti Trio.