The Cantoría group will perform the Membra Jesu Nostri (Buxtehude) cycle of cantatas at the third Easter edition of the 2025 Peralada Festival

The Cantoría group will perform the Membra Jesu Nostri (Buxtehude) cycle of cantatas at the third Easter edition of the 2025 Peralada Festival

The Cantoría group will perform the Membra Jesu Nostri (Buxtehude) cycle of cantatas at the third Easter edition of the 2025 Peralada Festival 


  • The programme for this year's summer edition will be announced on 29 April, with the premiere of the opera Don Juan no existe, by Helena Cánovas (Tona, 1994)


  • The second Easter edition ended on Holy Saturday with an unbeatable balance, consolidated as a musical reference for these dates in the Mediterranean arc


Peralada - The musical group Cantoría (2016), conducted by Jorge Losana, will be part of next year's programme of the Easter edition of the Peralada Festival, after having already been part of last year's, the first time this version of the festival was celebrated. The third edition will be held on 17, 18 and 19 April 2025 with the epicentre once again being in the Carmen Church. Cantoría will offer the cycle of cantatas composed by the German-Danish organist Dietrich Buxtehude (1637-1707) gathered under the title Membra Jesu Nostri, one of the landmarks of 17th century religious music. It consists of seven cantatas that focus on each of the parts of the body of the crucified Christ, becoming a reflection on His sacrifice. The cantata is arranged in ascending order, emulating the point of view of the faithful: from the feet to the face, passing through the knees, the hands, the chest and the heart. The proposal includes the insertion of gospel texts of the seven words sung in Catalan with a plainchant, and the staging foresees the participation of a dozen singers, two violins, a viola da gamba, violone, theorbo and organ.

Continuing in this line of advances, the Peralada Festival wishes to point out that this summer's edition, whose programme will be made public on 29 April, will feature the world premiere of the opera Don Juan no existe, a piece in two acts composed by Helena Cánovas. Cánovas is a young composer, winner of the second edition of the Carmen Mateu Young Artist European Award Opera and Dance. Currently living in Cologne (Germany), she graduated in music and composition at the Conservatorio Superior de Música de Aragón and completed master's degrees in Instrumental Music Composition and Electronic Music Composition at the University of Music and Dance in Cologne. Since 2020, Cánovas has been Artistic Director of the Avantgarten Festival (Liedberg, Germany) and is part of the outreach team for musical theatre and young audiences of the Deutsche Oper am Rhein. 

A very positive balance for the second Easter Edition

The second Easter edition of the 2024 Peralada Festival ended last Saturday, confirming that the cycle, the first chapter of a festival that continues in the summer, has certainly become a benchmark event in the Mediterranean arc in the field of music. In this second Easter Edition, thanks to the criteria behind the programming, the festival has also consolidated its reputation as an event that fosters a profound sense of communion and a dialogue between music and spirituality, which results in a very special atmosphere of introspection that is truly appropriate for the season.

The balance of this year's edition of the cycle is highly positive, with two notable turning points: the modern national premiere of the oratorio San Giovanni Battista by Stradella, and the world premiere of the Tenebrae Responsoria (Feria setxa in Parasceve) by the Reus composer Joan Magrané. Both shows have been produced by the festival itself, which strengthens the festival's status as a driving force for creation and for recovering and rediscovering our musical heritage.

As for the oratorio San Giovanni Battista, composed and premiered by Alessandro Stradella (1643-1682) in 1675, it was the musician Dani Espasa, director of the early music ensemble Vespres d'Arnadí, with the complicity of the countertenor Xavier Sabata, who suggested to the festival's artistic direction that the piece be recovered and updated. Espada made some arrangements, while the cast, headed by Sabata (Giovanni Batista), was completed by soprano Giulia Semenzato (Daughter of Herod), bass Luigi de Donato (Herod), tenor Juan Sancho (Counsellor) and soprano Elena Copons (Herodias). The production has been a real success, both at the level of the audience, who received the proposal with warmth, interest and enthusiasm, and at the musical level, with the recovery of the instrumentation of Stradella's original score, but applying a variety of changes according to the passage, giving the piece a remarkable dynamism and transcendence.

The world premiere of the Tenebrae Responsoria is one of those milestones that will be remembered fondly in the Peralada Festival's history. It is the paradigm of what the festival aims to achieve: recovering musical heritage, connecting it with contemporary arts and promoting the creators – performers, composers, etc. – of our country by giving them a window, a showcase, in the festival. The Tenebrae Responsoria was commissioned by the artistic direction of the festival from the composer Joan Magrané, a production put together by Magrané himself and Francesc Prat, conductor of the GIO Symphonia, with the soloists Pau Codina (cello) and María Hinojosa (soprano). Close to midnight on Good Friday, the Carmen Church was rendered the exceptional setting for the premiere, which turned out to be a complete success. Magrané and the GIO Symphonia fascinated the whole auditorium with an unforgettable piece, which is inspired by the structure of the lessons of darkness of the French baroque masters, but introducing variations such as giving the cello the status of soloist by replacing one of the two sopranos of the traditional form. Both Stradella's oratorio and the premiere of Magrané's piece were recorded by Catalunya Música.

Apart from these two concerts, the Carmen Church has experienced other memorable moments such as the performance, also on Friday, of the ensemble Bachcelona Consort, who interpreted with extreme delicacy Johann Sebastian Bach's parody of Pergolesi's Stabat Mater; the performance on Saturday of the Andalusian pianist Javier Perianes, who brought to Peralada the light of Granados' Goyescas; and the long-awaited lessons in darkness by the masters of the French baroque, François Couperin (1668-1733) and Marc-Antoine Charpentier (1643-1704), performed by the Choir and Orchestra of the Royal Opera of Versailles. The second Easter edition of the Peralada Festival has registered an occupancy rate of 87% of the available capacity. The previous occupancy rate was close to 100%, but the cancellation of Korean pianist Yanchun Lim's performance led to a drop in the percentage due to some cancellations from foreign audiences.