This morning, the Peralada Festival has unveiled the programme of its 37th Summer Edition, which will take place from 28 July to 5 August on the stages of the Carme Church of the Peralada Castle and the Mirador del Castell. The presentation has taken place in the Barcelona Centre of Digital Arts IDEAL and in the context of the celebrations of the Peralada Centenary.

Gems for a short but intense summer edition

Following the success and warm reception of the Festival's Easter Edition, the president of the Castell de Peralada Foundation, Isabel Suqué Mateu, and the director of the Peralada Festival, Oriol Aguilà, have explained in detail the programme they have prepared for the summer. A cultural proposal that brings together 11 artistic performances, a week of Campus Peralada for dance students and two exhibitions. 

The construction of a new auditorium motivated the decision of the Castell de Peralada Foundation, organisers of the festival, to present a shorter programme in 2023, but it will nevertheless be a star-studded event: "This summer's programme responds to the living project and current exceptional times that are a result of the new Peralada auditorium being under construction. A highly significant period with a programme that will serve as a prelude to all the great things to come in the festival's future, featuring a line-up of both local and international artists, a summer of absolute gems in the intimate and exceptional setting of the Carme Church, in line with our vision of what a festival should be, including both important debuts and re-encounters with the artists that make up this artistic mosaic," said Oriol Aguilà. "This summer's programme is also a great occasion for the public who so far has only known our auditorium to come to Peralada to discover the other unique and beautiful spaces we have here. The Carme Church and the Mirador del Castell are the perfect backdrop for getting up-close and personal with artistic experiences starring big international names who we usually only see up on a stage," added the festival's artistic director.

The tenor Freddie De Tommaso (28 July) will be in charge of inaugurating the summer edition of the festival, as had been announced by the festival's organisers on ending the Easter Edition, where the British-Italian tenor sung the closing performance. Accompanied once again by the pianist and orchestra director, Audrey Saint-Gil, De Tommaso will return to offer the public a powerful recital consisting of a selection of some of Giuseppe Verdi's most beloved arias alongside other more obscure works by Verdi. The following day, Diana Damrau and Nicolás Testé (29 July), a couple who don’t only live but also perform together, will present a recital called All or Love, accompanied by the renowned pianist Helmut Deutsch. The German soprano, one of the greatest of our time, will return to the same stage where she debuted in 2015 and will do so with an inspiring programme featuring opera, operetta as well as lieder and songs. On 30 July, Capella Mediterranea will present an artistic dialogue between two geniuses of their time, -Piazzolla and Monteverdi-, in a concert directed by Leonardo García Alarcón. The concert shows how these two composers addressed key issues such as night-time, love, abandonment, war and death in an ongoing dialogue between old and modern instruments, the past and the present. On 31 July, the festival will also have a Baroque soundtrack thanks to the great ambassador of the rebirth of ancient music, Jordi Savall. The grand master of Baroque music will combine viola de gamba pieces with the direction of Le Concert des Nations, to present a repertoire that brings us closer to and ushers us into the courts of Louis XIV, Louis XV and Louis XVI through the music of great composers such as Guillaume Dumanoir, Monsieur de Sainte-Colombe, Marin Marais, François Couperin, Jean Féry Rebel and Jean-Marie Leclair. This year, which marks the centenary of the birth of Victória de los Ángeles, the festival has prepared for 2 August a heartfelt homage to this grand soprano with Cantar del Alma, with the voice of Núria Rial and musical accompaniment headed by Rubén Fernández Aguirre. A recital specifically tailormade for Peralada through a perfectly conceived mosaic of songs by Campra, Scarlatti, Schubert, Fauré, Ravel, Granados, Montsalvatge, Toldrà and Mompou. A new discovery will grace the festival with its presence: the voice of Jonathan Teleman. In only five years, the North American tenor has consolidated his position as one of the most highly demanded tenors of our time and has established a solid career throughout Europe partly thanks to his swift technique, his dramatic eloquence and his wide-ranging vocal palette. On 3 August, the young tenor, an exclusive artist of Deutsche Grammophon, will perform a programme of songs and arias before the festival's audience. The multi-award-winning soprano Serena Saénz, and the renowned tenor, Xabier Anduaga, will perform, on 5 August, a recital of bel canto duets and arias. Two of the most internationally recognisable local voices of our day and age will be in charge of closing the 37th iteration of the Castell de Peralada Festival, accompanied by the outstanding pianist Maciej Pikulski.

Danse and opera at the Mirador del Castell

Dance and opera are two of the flagships of this festival. That is why the festival has not wanted to make do without either of these two genres this summer. The former will be provided by the flamenco artists Israel Galván, who, on the night of 1 August, will perform at Peralada for the first time with Solo. A spectacle where the bailaor explores the possibilities of his art all by himself. A personal reflection on flamenco dance without music and with no adornment, in which the only instrument is the dances with his body and the ground on which he treads. The show won for Galván the City of Barcelona Dance Prize. On 4 August, the Mirador del Castell will host the comic opera The Telephone, or l’Amour à trois by Gian Carlo Menotti. With musical direction by Iván Martín, the musical interpretations of the Galdós Ensemble and the voices of the soprano Ruth Giménez and the baritone Jan Antem, the production of the festival Musika Música de Bilbao and the first opera project by the actress, playwright and director from Bilbao, María Goiricelaya, will show us, using a parodic tone, the story of Lucy and Ben, a couple in love, whose relationship becomes more and more complicated with every passing minute due to her addiction to the telephone. A situation that the stage director approaches with intelligence and a great deal of humour, with modern, unique staging. With the goal of renovating the public and bringing opera closer to the younger generations, Menotti's opera will be followed by the concert Ticket To Ride: The Beatles and Bowie, performed by Gio Symphonia and directed by Francesc Prat, during which the audience will be able to enjoy a summer cocktail specially prepared by Toni Gerez, manager and sommelier of the Castell Peralada Restaurant, to complete a triple experience.

The Ex Ex cycle

In line with the festival's commitment to creators, and the will to develop its own artistic discourse with pioneering creations that also make room for experimentation, innovation and interdisciplinary dialogue, the festival presents the Ex Ex educational cycle as part of its programme. A cycle that will include from this very edition unique pairings and artistic languages. It is the first stone upon which Peralada will build a future of educational cycles for creators in the Scenic Arts School and of projects that will be born in the artistic residences that the new auditorium will be able to host in the future.

This is why the festival has programmed the concert workshop Cos a Cos by Imma Santacreu and Hèctor Parra (29 July) in the Sant Domènec cloister of the Peralada villa. A spectacle that invites attendees to delve into the creative process of these two artists. On 30 July, at the Mirador del Castell, the audience will be able to enjoy Alba (Prelude) by choreographer Aimar Pérez Galí. A dance and piano performance. A book of musical choreographies, or a danced poetry collection co-produced by the Peralada Festival and the Mercat de les Flors. 


Exhibitions that complement the experience

With the goal of offering the public an experience that goes beyond the stage, the festival includes in each of its iterations several exhibitions that complement the visit. This year, from 28 July to 5 August, the Sant Domènec cloister will host La lingua del corpo by Hèctor Parra. Sixteen sanguine drawings of Hellenistic torsos, made by Parra during his residence in the Villa Medici French Academy in Rome while he composed the chamber opera Orgia, co-produced by the Peralada Festival, the Teatro Arriaga de Bilbao and the Gran Teatre del Liceu. The drawings are presented against a background entirely composed of the manuscript score for the new opera: the composer drew the torsos to hear their voices, to feel their inner tensions and their external rhythms, and so to stimulate his lyrical imagination to give life to the protagonists of Orgia. The Opera Cooks, a photography exhibition by Evelyn Rillé and Johannes Ifkovits born from a new edition of the book that bears the same title. Divos and divas from the world of opera showcase their culinary abilities by sharing their recipes. The exhibition will be available on the festival's website from 28 July.

A campus of dance

Campus Peralada once again offers students of dance from Girona province the chance to widen their artistic training. On 24-29 July this year, Summer Campus will offer a week of dance classes that will be delivered by students and graduates from the province of the Dance Conservatoire of the Theatre Institute of the Barcelona Provincial Council.

A gift for the public

The Castell de Peralada Festival joins the celebration of the Peralada Centenary by bringing to Barcelona the landscape, light and flavours of the land to which it is inextricably tied. To do so, it presents "L'Obsequi" ("The Gift"), a spectacle that the festival has created to mark Peralada's centenary and that will be able to be seen on 6-7 May at 21:00 in the Barcelona Digital Art Centre IDEAL. A spectacle with an immersive taste that will count with the participation of artists such as: the composer Marc Timón, the choreographer and dancer Iratxe Ansa, and the choreographer and also dancer Botis Seva (winner of the 3rd Carmen Mateu Young Artist European Award). A spectacle that will, naturally, include the commission of a new musical composition, lyrical voices, dance and young talent. A gift for the public so that it can live first-hand the essences of the Empordà region through the artistic and creative spirit of this festival.

Presentation of the Carmen Mateu Award

On 21 November last year, Botis Seva was chosen from among 34 candidates from 11 countries in the 3rd Carmen Mateu Young Artist European Award. The dancer, born and raised in London, is a choreographer and director in the fields of contemporary dance, physical theatre and hip hop. At 19, he founded his own dance company, Far From The Norm, a benchmark for the hip hop community of the United Kingdom. Today, on the occasion of his participation in the show that the festival has presented in Barcelona, Botis Seva has been given the award by the president Isabel Suqué Mateu, a camellia designed by Santi Moix and produced by the Bagués jeweller. The award, consisting of 30,000 euros, also gives the winner the chance to direct his own choreography alongside Acosta Dansa, Carlos Acosta's dance company.  During her intervention, Isabel Suqué Mateu underscored that "our award is aimed towards promoting and adding prestige to the disciplines of opera and dance in Europe, recognising the trajectory of young artists to contribute to the development of their careers. That is why I am very proud that the award has gone to a young talent who connects so strongly with today's society and speaks the language of the present."


Tickets will be made available for purchase on 5 May at 16:00, on www.festivalperalada.com