On the 3rd July, 2006 the Teatro Auditorio de San Lorenzo de El Escorial will open its doors, coinciding with the inaugural Festival de San Lorenzo de El Escorial. For those who don’t know San Lorenzo de El Escorial is a town situated around 45 kilometres outside Madrid, at the foot of the Sierra de Guadarrama Mountain Range, and home of the Royal Monastery of San Lorenzo de El Escorial. The complex houses a palace, monastery, library and museum and was built by King Phillip II of Spain. Its Royal Pantheon contains the remains of most of Spain’s rulers from the last 5 centuries.
San Lorenzo de El Escorial is a quiet town set in beautiful surroundings and is the ideal retreat for Madrileños wanting to get away from the intense heat of Madrid. It is also the new home of the Festival de San Lorenzo de El Escorial, whose ambitions extend to being the premier event of its kind in Southern Europe. Judging by the headline performers this year, they could quite easily achieve that in a short period of time.
Here is a breakdown of the top international and national artists appearing from the 3rd July until the 1st August, 2006.
Ricardo Mutti opens the festival with works from Giuseppe Verdi played by Orchestra e Coro del Maggio Musicale Fiorentino
The English Baroque Soloists, Monteverdi Choir and Sir John Eliot Gardiner perform Mozart on the 4th July.
The Orquesta Sinfónica de Galicia, under the direction of Víctor Pablo Pérez, play Mozart and Martín y Soler on the 13th and 14th July.
Rinaldo Alessandrini and his Concerto Italiano dedicates the 18th July to a session of Monteverdi madrigals.
On the 7th, 8th and 9th July the Royal Ballet Covent Garden under the choreography of Kenneth MacMillan and two (rare Spanish) performances by Tamara Rojo (on the 7th and 8th July), perform Romeo and Juliet.
The London Symphony Orchestra and the Comunidad de Madrid Choir, under the direction of Sir Colin Davis, perform Mozart’s Opera, the Magic Flute on the 20th, 22nd and 24th July.
For lovers of Zarzuela, there’s an opportunity to see the Orchestra and Choir of the Community of Madrid perform Noche de Verano en la Verbena de la Paloma on the 30th and 31st July and the 1st August.
Festival of San Lorenzo de El Escorial (official website).
San Lorenzo de El Escorial and Valle de los Caidos, an article published a couple of years back on this site.
Un festival nuevo para un teatro de estreno (published in El Mundo’s Metropoli magazine).
Ópera, ballet y zarzuela para inaugurar el teatro de El Escorial (interesting article from El Pais)