Peralada, 25 July 2023

The young British tenor Freddie De Tommaso (1993) will open the summer edition of the 37th Peralada Festival on Friday at the Carmen Church (20:00). This year's festival is more concentrated than usual and will take place until 5 August in said church and at the castle's viewpoint, the Mirador. De Tommaso returns to Peralada after participating in the Easter's edition of the Empordà festival, where he made his debut and left an unbeatable impression on the audience.

This spinto tenor with a powerful projection and a timbre full of harmonics has been forging himself an excellent reputation in the field of opera, and in 2018 he won the Francesc Viñas International Singing Contest. He subsequently took on the role of Cavaradossi in the Royal Opera's production of Tosca, becoming the youngest tenor ever to perform the role on such an iconic stage and the first Briton to do so since 1963.

De Tommaso, who in Peralada will be accompanied on the piano by the conductor Audrey Saint-Gil, has also made his debut in some of the world's greatest opera houses, such as La Scala in Milan, the Vienna Opera and the Royal Opera House. The programme of his Peralada recital includes a selection of arias by Giuseppe Verdi, those most dear to the composer, as well as other Verdian works more unknown to the general public.

The opening recital is one of the highlights of this intense and compact summer edition which, despite a shorter than usual duration due to the projected construction of the new auditorium, has in no way renounced artistic excellence and maintains a very high level of quality boasting great names in opera, classical music and dance.

Diana Damrau returns to Peralada

This commitment to quality is confirmed by the fact that Freddie De Tommaso will be followed on Saturday, also in the Carmen Church (20:00), by the duo formed by the soprano Diana Damrau and the French bass Nicolas Testé accompanied on the piano by Helmut Deutsch. The German soprano returns to Peralada after making her debut in 2015 on the same stage to overwhelming public acclaim. She is considered one of the most celebrated sopranos of our time and is also one of the great favourites of the Metropolitan Opera House.

Damrau and Testé, who have built a reputation for passionate performances brimming with emotional depth, vocal prowess and musical chemistry, will offer an inspiring journey through opera, operetta, lied and song, performing works by Duparc, Strauss, Gounod, Donizetti.

An impossible dialogue between two geniuses

On Sunday, in the Carmen Church (20:00), the first weekend of this year's edition of the festival will close with the show De Monteverdi en Piazzolla, an impossible encounter in time, but one most fruitful in the musical field. This artistic encounter between the baroque composer Claudio Monteverdi and the Argentinean bandoneonist and composer Astor Piazzolla is made possible by the Cappella Mediterranea, conducted by Leonardo García Alarcón, with the participation of the soprano Mariana Flores and the tenor Diego Valentín Flores.

The show was born from a truly baroque idea, that of creating emotion and expressiveness beyond the particularities of the period instruments used. That is why the audience will be able to enjoy the magic of the bandoneon, which will take them from 17th century Venice to 20th century Buenos Aires, as well as the magic of a lute, a cornet, an electric guitar and a baroque violin. From Monteverdi to Piazzolla is a successful attempt to show how two musical geniuses approach vital issues such as night, love, abandonment, war and death.

The show's powerful dramaturgy, which has the bandoneon as its guiding thread, merges both musical aesthetics to show the way in which human fears and passions transcend the passage of time and that music is indeed a universal language.

Master Savall

There is no more iconic figure in the world of early and baroque music than the masterful violagambist Jordi Savall, who on Monday 31 July will give a recital with six musicians from the ensemble he conducts, Le Concert Des Nations, in the Carmen Church (20:00). The audience will be able to enjoy the music of the many Kings Louis of France performed by Savall and his ensemble, who are capable of creating a true universe of emotion and beauty thanks to their rigorous research and recovery work, which breathes new life into the early music of Europe, the New World and the Mediterranean.

The repertoire of the recital not only brings the audience closer to the courts of Louis XIII, Louis XIV and Louis XV, but also immerses them in the atmosphere of their times, with the performance of masterpieces by composers such as Guillaume Dumanoir, Monsieur de Sainte-Colombe, Marin Marais, François Couperie, Jean-F.

A grand total of eleven proposals

The summer edition of the 37th Peralada Festival, which has its sights set on the future and on important projects that will bolster and extend its international projection, will include up to 7 more performances until 5 August, adding up to a total of 11 shows ranging from opera and classical music to dance. This year's line-up also includes the bailaora Ana Morales, the soprano Núria Rial, the tenor Jonathan Tetelman, the soprano Serena Saénz and the tenor Xabier Anduaga, as well as the Peralada premiere of the one-act comic opera The Telephone or L'Amour à Trois by Gian Carlo Menotti, which will be performed at the Mirador.

In line with the Festival's commitment to creators and to developing its own artistic discourse with pioneering proposals that put a spotlight on experimentation, innovation and dialogue between different artistic disciplines, the Festival now presents the Ex Ex cycle as part of its programme. This brand includes unique proposals of artistic pairings and languages, and lays the foundations for future cycles of creators in the Aula de Artes Escénicas and for projects born in future artistic residencies, which the new auditorium will be able to host after its completion.

In this year's programme, the Festival has scheduled the Cos a Cos concert workshop by Imma Santacreu and Hèctor Parra (29 July) in the cloister of Sant Domènec, and the Mirador, the castle's viewpoint, will be the backdrop for the dance show Alba, by choreographer Aimar Pérez Galí, on 30 July. A publication of musical choreographies, or a danced poetry book, in a co-production of the Peralada Festival and the Mercat de les Flors.

A physical and a virtual exhibition

For the duration of the festival, from 28 July to 6 August, attendees can also enjoy two exhibitions. La lingua del corpo, which will be held in the Cloister of Sant Domènec, in the Miquel Mateu room, is an exhibition of sixteen sanguine drawings of Hellenistic torsos made by Hèctor Parra during his stay in Rome, where he was composing the chamber opera Orgia, based on the work of the same name by Pasolini. The second exhibition, The opera cooks, is virtual and can be visited during the festival dates on their website. It is a photographic exhibition by Evelyn Rillé and Johannes Ifkovits based on the book of the same name that showcases the culinary skills of up to 70 opera stars from 28 different countries.