SPECIALISATION AND A NEW FESTIVAL
After 16 nights and 18 shows beneath the stars, the 36th edition of the festival comes to a close in line with its unique commitment to specialisation and pursual of a programme that highlights local talent, newly created productions and world-renowned international artists of the fields of opera and dance. With the aim of deseasonalising the event, the Festival has decided to create an extension of the Castell de Perlada Festival that will take place during Easter.
Peralada, 6 August 2022
The Castell de Peralada Festival brings the curtain down on its 36th iteration after 16 nights and 18 shows beneath the stars. This benchmark event for the worlds of opera and dance based in the Empordà brings this year's festival to a close after proving that it stays true to its unique commitment to specialisation and, especially, its goal of preparing a programme that stands out among those of other summer musical events, safeguarding its own niche. Local talent, newly created productions and world-renowned international artists of the fields of opera and dance have once more taken centre stage at the Festival, thus making their own way and helping the festival consolidate the model they have been putting into practise for years.
The Festival’s own production of the opera The Fairy Queen, with local referents in the field of the Baroque such as the countertenor Xavier Sabata, musical director Dani Espada or stage director Joan Anton Rechi; the intimate concert Sfogava con lestelle starring Raquel García-Tomás; and the residence of the Baroque choir O Vos Omnes come together to create a Festival that promotes local talent and helps give it international projection.
The unique personality Peralada has proved to have over the last few years is the result of a programming defined by large-scale productions such as the one carried by the Royal Theatre on 29-30 July, with Hadrian and Nabucco, two operas that could be seen in concert form at the Festival. The festival's lyric recitals are also exemplary. This year they took place in the Carme Church, with Sonya Yoncheva, who presented a Romantic programme; the long-awaited Lise Davidsen debut, which delighted the attendants; Ermonela Jaho, who paid homage to Rosina Storchio; and the discovery of Emily D'Angelo and her nod to Teresa Berganza.
Once more, both classical and modern dance have been two of the strong points of the summer programming. Both the opening and closing performances of the 36th iteration of the festival are proof of the Castell de Peralada Festival's appreciation for this genre. The Bayerisches Staatsballett was the star of the first weekend, with a double programme of world-renowned choreographers; and the recurrent Cuban dancer Carlos Acosta took charge of the last show of the year. And while on the subject of dance, this year attendants also got to see Sergio Bernal's show Rodin, which was held in the gardens of the new Peralada Winery.
With the goal of programming unique shows that aspire to excellence and bring an out-of-the-ordinary programme to Catalonia, the Festival has hosted Monica Bellucci's interpretation of Maria Callas, a night with the tenor Josep Carreras and some very special guests, Joan Manuel Serrat's final goodbye to the stage, Lucas Vidal's ground-breaking proposal and a concert by the famous Portland band Pink Martini.
85% occupancy and 12,750 spectators.
This year the Castell de Peralada Festival welcomed 12,750 spectators, thus achieving 85% occupancy. Most of the spaces have been chosen to provide unique experiences with limited seating, between 100 and 200 people at a time. The auditorium's capacity has also been reduced compared to previous years, allowing for 400 people as opposed to the last festival that took place before the pandemic, in what feels like a transition in a still post-pandemic model.
The Castell de Peralada Festival, organised by the Castell de Peralada Foundation, counted for this latest iteration with a budget of 3.7 million euros with which to stay true to their commitment to the arts, the land and cultural patronage. This year, 543 artists have graced the different stages of the festival with their performances.
Peralada will also take place in Easter
The Castell de Peralada Festival, in pursuit of deseasonalising the event and extending its programme to other times of the year, will organise next year a new cycle of concerts that will coincide with the celebration of the Holy Week and will mainly take place in the Carme Church, following in the footsteps of Europe's most important music festivals.
Peralada will host the EFA General Assembly
In 2023, the Festival will host The Arts Festival Summit and the General Assembly of the European Festivals Association (EFA) on 23-26 April, 2023. The EFA brings together renowned multidisciplinary music, dance, theatre and arts festivals from all over Europe and the world, supporting and contributing towards artistic creation, production and participation. The Castell de Peralada Festival has been chosen as the venue that will host next year's meeting and the sessions will take place in the Peralada villa, which will welcome about 200 participants from 120 European festivals to carry out the assembly, as well as in the city of Girona, where different work meetings will be conducted in several of the city's most iconic spaces.
New presentation of the Festival's Medal of Honour
This year the Castell de Peralada Festival has once again acknowledged the careers and bonds of the artists that are a part of the history of the festival by presenting the Medal of Honour to Josep Carreras, the Catalan tenor who performed on 3 August for the eighth time in the Alt Empordà municipality.
Thus, the artist joins the long list of talents who have received the Medal of Honour since it was created in 2011 to mark the Festival's 25th anniversary. The aim of this award is to pay homage to the artists who over the years have maintained a strong connection with the event and therefore reward their loyalty and thank them for having grown alongside the festival.
160 students in the Summer Campus
Every year, the Castell de Peralada Festival opens its doors to nearby students of the world of scenic arts or other related fields, providing access to contents of interest for future talents of the world of the performing arts, restricted to the general public, thus contributing to their training and facilitating contact with professionals.
This year, the Summer Campus received 160 students of dance and music who have participated in a variety of programmes, such as the masterclass by Sergio Bernal, the masterclass by Lucas Vidal and the great bar on the main square of Peralada with the Bayerisches Staatsballett. They also got to attend the dress rehearsals of the German company and those of Acosta Danza.
A Festival to be enjoyed beyond the venue
Every year, many media outlets decide to broadcast some of the Festival's performances. This year, TVE recorded The Fairy Queen, which will be broadcast on 14 August; TV3, La Nit de Josep Carreras. The latter was also recorded by Catalunya Música, who also captured Lise Davidsen's recital. The Pink Martini concert was recorded by Mezzo, the international channel with an audience of 60 million viewers in 60 countries; Ermonela Jah's performance was recorded by Radio Clásica; and Lucas Vidal's concert, by Ràdio 4.
Robert Mapplethorpe exhibitions
The Festival complemented its cultural offering with exhibitions and shows in order to enrich and broaden the audience's experience. This year, it organised an exhibition of the works of photographer Robert Mapplethorpe. It was open to the public in the Palau Robert throughout the month of April. Flowers and People is a visual dialogue with Rufus Wainwright's opera Hadrian carried out in cooperation with the Mapplethorpe Foundation in New York. Curated by Jörn Weisbrodt, Hadrian's stage director, the exhibition showed twenty works of the American photographer from 6 July to 6 August in the Peralada castle gardens.
Until late September, the castle's library will be hosting the exhibition Celler Peralada: A Dream Come True. RCR Architects, to commemorate the inauguration of the New Peralada Winery, a space for artistic pairings created this year and to which Rafael Aranda has dedicated this year's poster. The exhibition is a sample of sketches drawn during the realisation of a family dream that started more than twenty years ago, when the idea was first born.
The Castell de Peralada Festival has proven to be, once again, a musical midsummer's night dream and a space where the arts can come together, a space where everything is possible and all one has to do is dream.
We would also like to thank you for being a part of our dream. Without you, organising this festival would not have been possible.
Thank you and see you next year.