Tamara Rojo in Blancanieves (Snow White)

Tamara_rojoHaving had its world premiere in Bilbao last week, the Ballet "Blancanieves" (Snow White) will première in Madrid’s Teatro Albéniz on the 9th November and will run until the 13th November. The star of the show is Tamara Rojo, the principal dancer of the Royal Ballet Covent Garden. The Ballet is described as the first purely Spanish Ballet – the choreographer and stage manager is Ricardo Cué; the musical score is by Emilio Aragón who directs the Orquesta Sinfónica de la Comunidad de Madrid; the principal dancers are Spanish as are the costume and lighting designers. This is actually quite a rare opportunity to see Tamara Rojo dance in Spain – the last time was 5 years ago.

Dates: 9th – 13th November, 2005
Time: 8.30 p.m. (except Sunday: 7 p.m.)
Tickets: from 20 to 5 Euros – can be bought at the box office or from www.entradas.com (902 488 488)

Madrid Jazz Festival 2005


For the past 3 to 4 weeks I have seen a number of visitors arriving to this site looking for the Madrid Jazz Festival 2005. Unfortunately, they have had to content themselves with details of last year’s event. Well, as is often the case, the powers that be in Madrid have decided to release online details of this year’s event at the very last minute.

The XXII Madrid Jazz Festival will start on November 1st, 2005 and will feature an array of artists from around the world. It will conclude on the 1st December, 2005. This year it looks like around a third of all acts will be Flamenco Jazz-related. The festival will kick off with a concert by Paquito D’Rivera – ’50 Años y 300 noches’ – at the Centro Cultural de la Villa, the primary venue for most of the festival.

This year 2 concerts will take place with musicians from New Orleans, scene of so much devastation a couple of months ago. Some of the highlights of the festival include:

  • Preservation Hall Jazz Band of New Orleans
  • Dave Holland Quintet / Javier Vercher Cuarteto
  • Charlie Haden´s Liberation Music Orchestra / Dennis Rollins
  • Joe Zawinul Project & Wdr Big Band Köln
  • Diego Amador Trío
  • Roy Haynes
  • María Schneider Jazz Orchestra
  • Iré Habana : José María Vitier Cuarteto / SedaJazz
  • Guillermo McGill Quartet & David Liebman
  • Bob Sands Big Band & Laika Fatien
  • Habana Report / Joshua Edelman

And many, many more. For a full listing of shows, events and artists, you will need to check out the Esmadrid Jazz Festival Website

It is not just the large venues that will host Jazz artists but also the popular Jazz clubs, like Café  Central, Bar Café Clamores Jazz, Sala Barco and Rincon del Arte Nuevo.

In addition, you will find Jazz films like Piano Blues by Clint Eastwood and When We Were Kings by Leon Gast. There are two masterclasses and even Jazz concerts for kids.

For a full listing of show and events, you will need to check out the Esmadrid Jazz Festival Website

Madrid Wine Initiative

Madrid_wine_1Until the 30th October, 2005 the Regulatory Council (of wine) of Madrid will launch an initiative in 15 "taverns" across the city. Called "Conoce tus vinos, los de Madrid" (Know your wines, the Madrid ones") the initiative is designed to coinicide with the 15th anniversary of the council. Each of the participating taverns will offer customers a free glass of wine – a tempranillo from the Arganda region of Madrid – with the idea being that customers get a better appreciation of the local wines.

The participating establishments are:
Corazón Loco (Almendro, 22) Metro: La Latina
(Ferraz, 5) Metro: Ventura Rodríguez
El Alambique (Fucar, 7) Metro: Antón Martín

El Quinto Vino
(Hernani, 48) Metro: Nuevos Ministerios
Estay (Hermosilla, 46) Metro: Velázquez
La Mayor
(Mayor, 77) Metro: Ópera
La Pinta y la Viña (Infanta Mercedes, 61) Metro: Tetuán
Los Asturianos (Vallehermoso, 94) Metro: Canal
Los Madriles (José Abascal, 26) Metro: Alonso Cano
Vinoteca Maestro Villa (Cava San Miguel, 8) Metro: Puerta del Sol
Taberna de Antonio Sánchez (Mesón de Paredes, 13)Metro: Tirso de Molina
Taberna de Cien Vinos (Nuncio, 17) Metro: La Latina
Taberna de Madrid (San Simón, 3) Metro: Antón Martín

Taberna del Sumiller
(Victor de la Serna, 37) Metro: Colombia
Taberna Miranda (Pza. Conde de Miranda, 4) Metro: Puerta del Sol

A Walk Through La Latina

Just over a month ago I took a walk through the streets of La Latina (Metro: La Latina) – one of Madrid’s oldest and most enchanting barrios. eThis is somthing that I often do as you never know what you will encounter in its small streets and alleyways. Aside from the great bars and restaurants like La Taverna de los Cien Vinos and El Madroño, you will find wonderful buildings, squares and churches.

One of the most curious places I came across this day was Imprenta Cicerone, I think it was in c/ Águila. As you can see by the picture it looks pretty plain on the outside but inside it housed a treasure trove of old and new bullfighting posters – there were stacks of posters laid out when I walked past and some on the walls dated back 50 years. I couldn’t tell if they were for sale – if anyone does know this, please let me know.

It appears that many of the old buildings (and disused shops) in La Latina are getting a facelift and I’m sure that this will mean more bars, restaurants and smart shops. An old "Chocolate con Churros" shop was being turned into a bar as I wandered around and an old tavern was getting a lick of paint and a new bar!

San_francisco_grande_1 Just crossing Carerra de San Francisco you can see the impressive church of San Francisco el Grande, which was completed in 1784 and has one of the largest domes in the world – measuring 33 metres in diametre – and has 6 side chapels. Inside you will find paintings by famous Spanish painters Goya y Zurbarán. It may look non-descript from street level but just take a peep inside and you will see that it is anything but.

San_andresOn the other side of the street you come across a nice little square called the Plaza de Carros (carts) – which acted as a stop for carts/carriages in old Madrid. There are quite a few nice bars around here – you may even want to have a drink at an outside table. The church which is adjacent to the square is called San Andrés and dates from 1662 – it was the the first resting place of Madrid’s patron saint, San Isidro.

To the right of the church (East) you can see the Museum and House of San Isidro, which houses a well where he was said to have performed one of his miracles.

Palacio_anglona_2Heading north from the Plaza de Carros I came to the down to the Plaza de la Paja. The Plaza de Paja was the old Moorish area
of Madrid,  where the most important muslim market was held. In
Medieval Madrid it was the place where the nobility had residences –
the Spanish Queen Isabel la
Católica, for example, had a palace here.

Jardin_anglona_2I have walked through this area many, many times but had never seen a door in the brick wall at the far end of this Plaza – it reminded me of the book ‘The Secret Garden’. Entering this door you come into the Jardín de Anglona – a garden which stands directly next to the Palacio de Anglona and which was restored a few years ago by Madrid’s City Council.

Jardin_anglona_1It is so surprising to see such a small, pleasant
garden in the middle of old Madrid.
Not being a gardening expert, I
would say that it is very simple with a small number of trees and
benches, neat little lawns and some shrubs! – an ideal place to stop
and contemplate c/ Segovia and the old buildings that surround it or, alternatively, just read a book.

Modern Realism Exhibition

Miro_painting Mimesis: Realismos Modernos (Modern Realism) is an exhibition, jointly arranged between the Museo Thyssen-Bornemisza and the Fundación Caja Madrid, which will display the diffusion of realism between the first and second word wars. It charts the development of Realism as something which started out strongly but which finised up weakened by economic, political and social problems.Here is what the press release has to say:

"This period saw a profound re-examination of the ideas and structures that had previously provided the basis of Western society, and Realism came to the fore as one of the main trends in modern art. In clear opposition to the subjective nature of the early 20th century avant-garde movements, Realist artists focused on representing the reality that surrounded them. To do so, they were obliged to develop a style appropriate to the new age and thus contributed to a better understanding of modern man."

The exhibition runs from the 11th October until the 8th January and includes work from André Derain, Otto Dix, Edward Hopper, José Gutiérrez Solana, Joan Miró, Balthus, Julio González and others.

Opening times
Thyssen: Tuesday to Sunday: 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.
Fundación Caja Madrid: Tuesday to Sunday: 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.
Entry Cost
Thyssen: 5 Euros (9 Euros includes General Admision)
Fundación Caja Madrid: FREE
Thyssen: Paseo del Prado, 8 (Metro: Banco de España)
Fundación Caja Madrid: Plaza de San Martín, 1 (Metro: Sol)

Related Links
The Thyssen-Bornemisza Museum

Fundación Juan March Celebrates 50 Years


The Fundación Juan March will open a new exhibition on Friday which will commemorate its 50 years in existence. The exhibition will bring together the work of some of the principal artists from the last century. It includes 60 works (51 paintings, 6 photographs and 3 sculptures) from artists such as Cezanne, Degas, Gauguin, Giacometti, Hockney, Kandinsky, Matisse, Miró, Monet, Picasso, Pollock and Warhol. Some of the pieces have been shown previously over the course of the last 3 years of holding 150 exhibitions in the centre.

New Reina Sofía Extension Opens


Last week the Queen of Spain, Doña Sofía, opened the new extensions of the Museo Reina Sofía. The project, which was designed by architect Jean Nouvel cost 90 million Euros and has added an extra 55% to the size of the museum. The Museo Reina Sofía forms part of Madrid’s Golden Triangle (the others being the Museo Thysssen and the Prado) and houses some of the most important modernist art in the world – Picasso’s famous painting "Guernica" is permanently exhibited here.

The Reina Sofía Museum now features two buildings: the old Sabatini building and the new Nouvel extension – making it one of the largest modern art museums in the world. Jean Nouvel has created 3 buildings – a temporary exhibition hall, a library, an auditorium and a restaurant – which are all contained under one huge canopy. The library currently has 100,000 books and can house up to 200,000, whilst the auditorium can seat up to 450 people.

The restaurant, called Arola, comes under the direction of Michelin 2-star chef Sergi Arola. Arola, who spent some 6 years at Ferrán Adrià’s restaurant El Bulli (recently nominated #2 restaurant in the world), has split the eating area into 3 sections: a bar, café and restaurant; he would like to make sure that Arola is cheap and chic!

Related Articles
Fast Good a new fast food concept opens in Madrid
The Prado Museum
The Thyssen-Bornemisza Museum

Festival de Otoño


Starting on October 6th and running for a full month, Madrid will host its yearly autumn festival, the Festival de Otoño. The festival showcases dance, music and theatre companies from around the world and is held in the major Madrid theatres: the Teatro de la Zarzuela, Teatro Madrid, the Círculo de Bellas Artes and Teatro Albéniz, to name but a few. Here is a brief overview of some of the artists and performances which will feature during this month:

Joan Manuel Serrat; Elza Soares; Dead Capo; La Capella Reial de Catalunya and Hespèrion XXI and Racalmuto

Shakespeare’s A Winter’s Tale and Measure for Measure (in English); Sophocles’ Antigone (in Brazilian); Macbeth and Othello (in Lithuanian) and Stupidity and Versión Original Subtitulada (in Spanish) – all plays have subtitles in Spanish

Dance companies from Spain, UK, Belgium and France will be performing across the theatres of Madrid.

The website also has a list of venues, with accompanying prices and addresses.

Spanish Football League Fixtures 2005-2006

I have just seen that quite a few people are searching for the Spanish Football League Fixtures for the 2005-2006 season. Well, here is a list of every game that will be played over the next 10 months or so (courtesy of El Mundo):

2005 – 2006 Fixtures August – December
2005 – 2006 Fxtures January – May

Important Games:
16th October, 2005 sees a local derby between Atlético de Madrid and Real Madrid at Vicente
Calderón Stadium
20th November, 2005 sees the biggest game of the season when Real Madrid take on Barcelona at the Bernabeu Stadium
5th March, 2006 – Real Madrid play the local derby against Atlético Madrid at home in the Bernabeu.

Related Articles

Atlético de Madrid – Madrid’s ‘other’ football team
Tour of Real Madrid’s Bernabeu Stadium

El Madroño – Tapas Near the Plaza Mayor


Just off the Plaza Mayor, in the Plaza de la Puerta Cerrada, 7, you will find El Madroño a great little bar which serves fantastic tapas. The entrance to the bar is has tiles on the wall which depicts Velázquez’s painting Los Borrachos (the drunkards)inside the bar you will find many such tiled paintings; one of the most interesting shows how the Madrid coat of arms has changed over the centuries and is located directly behind the bar. Drinks come with generous portions of tapas – I was offered a olives and patatas bravas (roasted potatoes with a chilli sauce) – and are served by friendly staff. The bar also offers vermouth on tap and has a good selection of wines. You may also want to try the local licor de madroño.

Address: Plaza de Puerta Cerrada, 7 (Map)
Metro: La Latina or Tirso de Molina

Café Madrid – Madrid’s Tower of Babel


A couple of weeks ago I met up with Francisco Rodriguez Veiga (Fran) and Susana Bourne, who both run the International Evenings in Café Madrid, near Madrid’s Opera Metro station to discuss its success. It all started 5 years ago when Fran, who can speak 6 languages, came up with the idea of bringing people from different countries, languages and cultures together for one evening a week. Language exchanges or ‘intercambios’ are very popular in Madrid and offer people the chance to practice their language skills with ‘native’ speakers. Café Madrid, which is a pleasant, open bar in a great location – near Puerta del Sol and Plaza Mayor – and serves an assortment of beers and wines and straightforward bar food is the ideal location for it.

The friendly atmosphere at Café Madrid’s International Evenings has made it a very popular venue on Wednesdays and Fran says that quite often over 100 people have turned up. Fran acts as the host for the evening and helps with introductions. And contrary to what many people think, Spanish and English are not the only language exchanges on offer – German, French, Italian, and many other languages can be heard on a Wednesday night. So whether you live in Madrid or are just passing through, why not spend a couple of hours at Café Madrid?

Venue: Café Madrid
Location: (c/ Mesón de Paños, 6 – Metro: Opera)
Time: 9.30 p.m. till late

My Madrid – Francisco Rodriguez Veiga

Cafe_madrid_1A couple of weeks ago I had the pleasure of meeting Francisco (Fran), at Café Madrid (c/ Mesón de Paños, 6 – Metro: Opera) to talk about the International Evenings that are held there every Wednesday. Afterwards I invited him to take part in the ‘My Madrid’ section of this site.

Fran is a freelance legal consultant for the telecoms industry. He has a background in languages – he speaks English, Russian, Italian, French and German – and this ties in with his passion: meeting people at the International Evenings in Café Madrid. Fran has been running the language evenings at Café Madrid since 2000 and says: "everybody is welcome and for free can meet a lot of people from a number of countries and exchange culture and languages". Here are the answers to the questions I emailed him:

Favourite Bar/Café – Café Madrid (c/ Escalinata – Opera)
Favourite Dish – Gazpacho / Any fish / Ice cream
Favourite Tapas – Gambas (Prawns), Tortilla (Spanish Omelette), Pulpo (Octopus)
Favourite Restaurant – Maceiras (c/ Huertas, 66) 
Favourite Shop – Mercado de Fuencarral (Market)
Best time of year in Madrid – The whole year
Favourite Barrio – La Latina – it has everything I like: it’s a
very nice old quarter with amazing buildings, churches and views, and
at the same it’s very lively, full of restaurants, tapas bars and clubs.
Favourite Building(s) – Palacio Real (The Royal Palace).
My favourite day trip from Madrid is to … Segovia, it’s a wonderful old city and very near you can find a superb palace with beautiful gardens surrounded by mountains
A perfect ‘night out’ in Madrid would …Tapas bars, International Evening at Café Madrid and a late club
My favourite walk …From Paseo de Rosales to San Francisco Church and then getting into La Latina

Los Tarantos – the First Flamenco Musical Arrives in Madrid


Billed as the first Flamenco Musical, ‘Los Tarantos’ opens its doors this Sunday to Madrid’s public in the Teatro Albéniz.  Los Tarantos is based on Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet, the book "Los Tarantos" by Alfredo Mañas and the Oscar-nominated film, which featured the dancers Carmen Amaya and Antonio Gades and was directed by Rovira Beleta. In place of the Capulets and Montagues you have the Tarantos and Zorongos, gypsy families who live in Barcelona.

More than 20 artists appear on stage, with a mixure of dancing, singing and guitar playing. The musical score is by Chicuelo, one of the most important composers and guitarrists of flamenco today and well-known flamenco artist Tomatito, the choreography is by Javier Latorre. Auditions for the parts took the production team all over Spain and the main parts have been taken by Ana Salazar (Juana) and bailaor Juan Carlos Lérida (Ismael), with Carmelilla Montoya (Soledad) and Candy Román (Rosendo).

The show runs from Sunday 11th September 2005 to October 2nd 2005.

Timetable: Tues-Fri: 8.30pm; Sat: 7pm and 10.30pm & Sun: 7pm
Venue: Teatro Albéniz
Address: c/Paz, 11
Metro: Sol
Price: 24-38 Euros (Tuesday: 16-30 Euros)

Related Articles
The flamenco musical ‘Los Tarantos’ lands in Madrid (Flamenco World)
Romeo y Julieta calés (El Mundo)
‘Tarantos’, un musical español sobre un Romeo y Julieta calé (Terra)

Technorati Tags
: |

Selection of Mad About Madrid Articles

Periodically, I publish a list of articles that I have previously written on this blog which people may find of interest. This will hopefully give you an idea of the breadth of information on this site. As always, if there is anything you would me to publish, just drop me a line.

Real Ermita de San Antonio de la Florida – a Goya Masterpiece
Viva Madrid!
Classical Music, Zarzuela and Ballet in Madrid

Metro Madrid – Website Review
Cine Doré and Filmoteca – No Blockbuster films here!
Spanish Language Bookshops and Conversation Exchanges
Learn Spanish in Madrid – Spanish Language Schools
The Thyssen-Bornemisza Museum
The Prado Museum

Fundación Lázaro Galdiano

Casa de la Moneda (Spanish Royal Mint)
Madrid Restaurants – Edelweiss Restaurant
Madrid Restaurant – Botín – the oldest in the world!
Puerta del Sol
Madrid’s Cable Car
Fresc Co – Madrid’s Fresh Fast Food Alternative
Corral de la Morería – Flamenco Shows
History of Madrid

Serrano – Shopping, embassies and architecture
Casa Patas – Flamenco and Food