MADRID’S “SUMMER IN THE CITY” OFFERS 60 DAYS OF MUSIC, DANCE, THEATRE, FLAMENCO
MADRID, Spain, June 23, 2009 – For 60 days this summer, Spain’s capital will welcome some of the world’s top performing artists. Sara Baras, Mikhail Baryshnikov, CesÃ¡ria Ãvora, Gilberto Gil, Jerry Lee Lewis, Youssou N’Dour, Carlos Saura and James Taylor are just some of the rock, jazz, ballet and flamenco stars who will perform in Madrid during Veranos de la Villa, the “Summer in the City” Festival. A total of 1,166 performances – 65 concerts, 50 plays, 30 dance companies, 200 film screenings and two circuses – will kick off June 25 and run through August 23.
Now in its 24th year, Madrid’s summer festival includes many free events and visitors and MadrileÃ±os alike can see some of the world’s legendary artists perform classical and world music, opera and Spain’s own flamenco and zarzuela. And yes, there’ll even be dancing in the streets (July 13-15.)
A U.S. production of Leonard Bernstein’s “West Side Story,” will inaugurate a new easily-accessible venue, the Puerta del Ãngel, from June 25 to July 5. On June 30, Roberto Benigni takes the stage in “Tutto Dante” at the Sabatini Gardens. George Benson kicks off a series of 27 concerts and ballet performances on July 6 at the Puerta del Ãngel. Music stars and artistic companies including Laurie Anderson and Lou Reed, Kool & the Gang, Seal, Paquito D’Rivera & Chano Dominguez and the Opera Ballet of Munich will perform there through August 3.
In the “Summer in the Street” program, many events are free of charge. “Music for the Sunset” will feature five free concerts by orchestra ensembles and string quartets July 7 to 10 in the Plaza de Oriente. Once again, the city’s grand 16th century Plaza Mayor, one of the finest main squares in Europe, will be the setting for a free concert of Liszt and Berlioz on August 5 by the West-Eastern Orchestra Divan with Daniel Barenboim conducting.
World Music is on the “MÃºsica del Mundo” program at the city’s 4th century B.C. Templo de Debod (a gift from Egypt) with groups from Greece, Egypt, Morocco and Spain giving nine free concerts, July 19 to August 8.
Two modern dance companies will perform July 13 to 15 as part of “Danzacalles” in the Plaza de Sanchez Bustello. Admission is free. In Retiro Park, Madrid’s Municipal Symphonic Band will offer free performances June 28, July 5, 12 and 19.
From June 25 through August 31, the open-air Parque de La Bombilla is showcasing movies for every taste ranging from “Che,” “Grand Torino” and “Harry Potter” to “Slum Dog Millionaire” and “Vicky Cristina, Barcelona.” There are 200 screenings and tickets are only $7.
The entire city is a summer festival with every one of Madrid’s theatres, concert halls and cultural institutions like Teatro EspaÃ±ol, Sala Cuarta Pared and the Matadero Madrid, presenting plays by William Shakespeare, Harold Pinter, tango, zarzuela, Spain’s version of lyric opera and much much more. There are also many activities for children as part of the Titirilandia Festival.
Prices and times for “Summer in the City” events vary by venue and performance. Go to www.esmadrid.com/en/portal.do
For information about Spain, contact your travel provider or the Tourist Office of Spain in New York (212-265-8822); Miami (305-358-1992); Chicago (312-642-1992) or Los Angeles (323-658-7195) or go to www.spain.info