Spain is a treasure trove of cultural and artistic talent, and Valencia is at the heart of it all. The city’s esteemed Palau de les Arts (Palace of the Arts) welcomed a whole new season earlier this month with a program that will satiate all sorts of cultural appetite. What’s more, the Palau is celebrating its tenth birthday this year, meaning that celebration is all the more special…
Audiences at the Palau this season have already enjoyed operatic productions of La Boheme and the centre looks set to continue its run of success. The 2015/2016 line-ups will include eight operas, an operetta, zarzuela performances and ballet productions, welcoming talent from across the globe and the local area.
The operatic performance of Macbeth is one of the standout events of the season. Composed by Giuseppe Verdi, the Shakespearean tragedy will be performed from December 5 starring much-loved Spanish tenor Placido Domingo in the titular role. He will head up an impressive roll call with Russian mezzo Ekaterina Semenchuk as Lady Macbeth and Italian tenor Giorgio Berrugi as Macduff. There is plentiful opportunityto catch this Shakespearean classic, with further performances taking place on the 8, 11, 14, 17 and 20 December.
In the first month of the New Year, another highly acclaimed operatic performance will take place; Samson and Delilah. Accompanied by the Orchestra of the Community of Valencia, the Romantic-era grand opera by French composer Camille Saint-Saëns will be performed on 12, 14, 17, 20 and 23 January. American tenor Gregory Kunde and Armenian mezzosoprano Varduhi Abrahamyan will take on the title roles in the popular tale, that tells a story based on the Samson and Delilah of the Old Testament.
The beautiful sounds of Giuseppi Verdi’s works return to the Palau in late February. This event also marks the official debut of Valencian-born Ramon Tebar as principal conductor, and is sure to resonate strongly in the hearts of the local people. Tebar will be conducting Verdi’s famous Aida – an opera in four acts that has been performed around the world for nearly two centuries. Performances will take place on the 25 and 28 February and 2, 5 and 9 March, with Ukrainian soprano Oksana Dyka alternating in the title role with emerging new talent, Venezuelan-born soprano Lucrecia Garcia.
These are just some of the star-studded performances that will continue until the season’s end in June 2016. Other highlights include ballet performances of Don Quixote and productions of chamber opera Café Kafka in May.
The season will close with a tribute to William Shakespeare on the 400th anniversary of his death, in the form of an operatic performance of Benjamin Britten’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream. Directed by Roberto Abbado and starring soprano Nadine Sierra, this is a breathtaking way to close what is certain to be a memorable season and a show of just why the Palau has reigned over Valencia’s cultural scene for the past decade.
Main photograph – ‘Palau de les Arts Reina Sofia’ courtesy of Craig Cormack; ‘Macbeth’ courtesy of Holly Stone and ‘Don Quixote Ballet’ courtesy of Jeff Medaugh