PICK OF THE WEEK: Monday, 28th January – Sunday, 3rd February, 2019

PICK OF THE WEEK: Monday, 28th January – Sunday, 3rd February, 2019

Wednesday, 30th January at 19.45h at the Cinemes Illa Carlemany, Escaldes-Engordany. Streamed from the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden, London. (Streaming time 3 hours and 30 minutes with two intervals.) Verdi’s La Traviata. Directed by Richard Eyre, Conducted by Antonello Manacorda. Starring: Ermonela Jaho as Violetta Valéry, Charles Castronovo as Alfredo Germont and Plácido Domingo as Giorgio Germont. The Story: Alfredo Germont and the courtesan, Violetta Valéry, fall in love at a party in Violetta’s Paris salon. Alfredo is determined to cure Violetta of her tuberculosis, and the couple leave Paris and begin a contented life in the country.

But Violetta’s happiness is destroyed when Alfredo’s father, Giorgio Germont, pays her a visit. Violetta’s scandalous relationship with Alfredo is jeopardizing Giorgio Germont’s daughter’s engagement, and Germont persuades Violetta to leave his son. Heartbroken, Violetta promises not to tell Alfredo why. Alfredo is stunned when Violetta disappears, and decides she must have left him from self-interest. He confronts her at a Paris party and leaves her. Only when Violetta is dying does he learn the truth.

Background: Verdi based La traviata on Alexandre Dumas fils’s novel and play La Dame aux camélias, inspired by the life and death of the real Parisian courtesan Marie Duplessis. Verdi offered a more complex and sympathetic portrayal of his heroine than Dumas, highlighting Violetta’s noble nature and her devotion to Alfredo. La traviata had an initially lukewarm reception, but after Verdi revised the work in 1854 it became enormously successful. It is currently the most performed opera in the world, and the role of Violetta a favourite for many star sopranos.

Richard Eyre’s stunning naturalistic production contrasts the superficial glamour of 19thcentury Parisian high life with intimate scenes for Violetta with Alfredo and Giorgio Germont, culminating in the heart-breaking final act.

Verdi’s sublime score contains some of his most inspired arias and duets, including Violetta’s introspective ‘Ah fors’è lui’ and hedonistic ‘Sempre libera’, Violetta and Germont’s poignant Act II encounter and Alfredo and Violetta’s ‘Parigi, o cara’, in which they dream of a happy future.

Monday, 28th January at 22h at Hotel Màgic, La Massana. (Free) Vibrand Concert in Clau de Soul. On Mondays the week starts with the best vibrations, with live music and with the songs you like to sing!

We are waiting for you to enjoy a concert that is born of soul and goes through different styles such as funky, bag, jazz, reggae trip hop from the successes of current and evergreen performers such as Jamiroquai, Sting, James Brown, Stevie Wonder, Bruno Mars, Amy Winehouse, Nina Simone, Joss Stone, Adele and Tom Jobim, Toquinho,
among others. Also on Thursday, 31st at 20.30h at Piolets Centre Hotel, Soldeu and on Saturday, 2nd February at 21.30 at Anyòs Park, Anyòs.

Wednesday, 30th January at 21.30h at Piolets Park & Spa, Soldeu (Free). Concert of the band Shuffle Express. A traditional and contemporary blues night in different styles (swing, rock, shuffle, calypso …) versions of artists such as BB King, Muddy Waters, Junior Wells, Joe Bonamassa, Susan Tedeschi and Jr. Watson, among others, with some compositions of the band. Musicians: Pablo Villar (vocals and guitar); Virginia Yañez (keyboard and vocals); Marc Milian (bass and sound); Dante Falótico (percussion).

Also Friday, 1st February at 21.30h at El Cabin, Arinsal.
Saturday, 2nd February at 21.30h at the National Auditorium, Ordino. SOLD OUT – as is the Concert for March… (I apologise. There seems to have been a huge surge in interest in large stage concerts lately. I will try to advertise them further in advance… See Notes For Your Diary re an exceptional concert – in English – for April! Tickets
still available.) This week (sold out) The 2019 National Auditorium Season presents Fito Páez in Solo Piano. Fito Páez is one of the greatest Latin American musicians of all time. An artist who has sold more than 3,500,000 albums! Fito Páez has won innumerable awards including five Grammys. Love after love is the best-selling album in the history of Argentine rock. (You could try Illa in case a ticket has been returned or the auditorium box office on the night.)

Tuesday, 26th February at 20h at the Centre de Congressos, Andorra la Vella. (Tickets 35€/25€. From Centre de Congressos d’Andorra la Vella, Oficina de Turisme d’Andorra la Vella, Departament de Cultura – La Llacuna, or Online.

Morabanc Music and Dance Season of Andorra la Vella. Bryn Terfel in Concert. The charismatic Welsh bass-baritone Bryn Terfel is one of the most sought after singers on the international stage of opera, known for the colour, the thrust and the precision of his voice. The son of a farmer, Welsh was his first language. Terfel was initially associated with Mozart’s roles (Figaro and Leporel), but expanded his repertoire to more powerful roles, especially those of Wagner. In the Season he will show why he is one of the most outstanding singers in popular repertoire and
musical comedy. Musicians: Bryan Terfel, baritone, Annabel Thwaite, piano.

Wednesday, 3rd April at 21.30 at the National Auditorium, Ordino.
Auditorium Season presents James Rhodes with his Fire On All Sides tour. The British pianist James Rhodes is in love with classical music. Charismatic, visceral and with a lot of talent, he claims that Bach has literally saved his life. At the age of 42, and without an academic musical training, he has become one of the main communicators of classical music in the world today, with tours and concerts in all kinds of festivals and concert halls. There have been
several documentaries about him filmed by British television networks.

Rhodes has created a distinctive and unique approach to how to present the classic piano repertoire. Inconsistent with the austere and traditional recital, Rhodes prioritizes direct communication with the public. “In my concerts I speak of the pieces that I interpret, I explain why I have chosen them, what importance they have for me and in what
context they were composed.” Thus James Rhodes explains his recitals in the prologue of his book Instrumental: A Memoir of Madness, Medication, and Music (in its 7th edition, the book has sold more than 100,000 copies), with which he has achieved an enormous and unexpected success throughout the world. In addition to playing and
contextualizing the works he plays, the British pianist also explains the story of his life and how music has helped him to overcome the obstacles he has encountered on the way.

His debut CD Razor Blades Little Pills and Big Pianos (2009) was number 1 on the list of hits from iTunes. And Fire On All Sides, his latest work and the one that will be presented in Andorra, has also been number 1 on iTunes. (And here’s a TEDx talk I found on line.

Also in the Morabanc Season of Music and Dance in the Centre de Congressos:
Sunday, 24th March at 18h The ballet stars of the Òpera de Paris.
Thursday, 4th April at 20h, jazz from Stacey Kent.

Thursday, 31st Janury at 18h in the field next to the Socioesportiu Perecaus, Canillo (Free) ‘La crema de gener/ The Burning of January’ followed by coca sweet cake and hot chocolate. This tradition is now only followed in Canillo. A large pine tree is felled, taken to the meeting place and replanted. It is then ceremoniously burnt on the last evening of January to leave behind what is often a very long, cold month. The ceremony is also known as ‘burning the tail of
January’. In the old days it was only performed if January had been particularly bitter. Certainly not relevant this year!

Sunday, 3rd February at 11.30h in the Plaça of the Church of Sant Pere Màrtir, Escaldes-Engordany. Encants/ sung auction of Sant Antoni. A centuries-old tradition, this is one of the biggest St Antoni charity auctions in Andorra. Donations of Andorran gastronomical products such as cuts of pork, sausages and cakes are auctioned for high prices with all the money going to local social causes. The Encants will end with a performance by the folkdance group Esbart Santa Anna.

Monday 28th – Thursday, 31st January at 20.25h at the Cinemes Illa Carlemanya, Escaldes-Engordany. Creed II. Directed by Steven Caple Jr. Starring: Michael B. Jordan, Sylvester Stallone, Tessa Thompson. The Story: Under the tutelage of Rocky Balboa, heavyweight contender Adonis Creed faces off against Viktor Drago, son of Ivan Drago.

Wednesday, 3rd January at 21.30h at the La Llacuna Cultural Center, Andorra la Vella. From the Cine Club de les Valls. El silencio de otros (The silence of others – in Spanish.) Directed by Almudena Carracedo & Robert Bahar. Starring: María Martín, José María Galante, Carlos Slepoy The Story: El silencio de otros reveals the epic, silenced struggle of victims of Spain’s 40-year dictatorship under General Franco, who continue to seek justice to this day. Filmed over six years, it follows the survivors as they organize the ground-breaking ‘Argentine Lawsuit’ and fight a state-imposed amnesia of crimes against humanity. The documentary explores a country still divided four decades into democracy. El silencio de otros is the second documentary feature by Emmy-winning filmmakers Almudena
Carracedo and Robert Bahar.

CHILDREN (All activities are in Catalan unless stated otherwise.)

Monday, 28th January during opening hours of the Communal Library of Pas de la Casa. A Week of Magic: Exhibition on Harry Potter with books, films and magic games.

Wednesday, 30th January at 17.30 for one hour in the Estudi of the Public Library, Ordino. Storytime in English (aimed at nonnative speakers aged 6 – 9.) Funnybones read by Kate Ashton.

Thursday, 31st January at 18h in the public library, Encamp. Workshop: Labyrinth for bullets. Children will be able to come to the library and play with labyrinths of balls or ‘bullets’ made from recycled materials. A simple cardboard maze to challenge the fine motor skills of the smallest. The challenge is to move a bullet from one end of the labyrinth to the opposite end, tilting the box to control its trajectory.

For children, from 5-years-old.
Thursday, 31st January at 18h at the Public Library, Pas de la Casa. Magic library. On the occasion of the International Day of Magic, illusionist Toni Zamora visits the library to offer a show for all ages.

Culturally yours,



Look for about the author of the blog Clare Allcard


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