Festival Castell de Peralada
This festival has been an EFA member since 1992.
The Festival Castell de Peralada has its origins in the wealth of the land of the Ampurdan, situated in Northeast Spain, at the southern end of the Pyrenees, and in the unique cultural tradition of northern Catalunya. Ramon Muntaner (1265-1336) was born in the vile of Peralada. He contributed to the Corona de Aragón, and witnessed the Catalan expansion along the Mediterranean. Several buildings survive from that period: the church, the cloister and the Murallas del Carmen walls. The castle is a Renaissance building, and was renovated in modern times.
With its benign climate, architectural surroundings and delightful gardens the Festival has provided an added tourist attraction to Peralada including some extraordinary concerts over the last decade with artists such as soprano Montserrat Caballé, dancer Antonio Gades or guitarist Narciso Yepes participating.
In 1986, Carmen Mateu de Suqué, owner of the Castle, founded and was appointed president of the Associació Cultural Castell de Peralada. This institution runs the Festival, with Luis López de Lamadrid as manager. Since 1987, four hundred events have taken place annually in July and august, including opera performances, concerts, lieder recitals, chamber music and ballet.
The Festival regularly invites groups and artists of Spain. In 1988 it hosted the first recital of the tenor José Carreras after his illness. After 14 years of history, the main artists in all the genres have visited the Festival, like the singers María Bayo, Montserrat Caballé, Mirella Freni, Eva Marton, Leontina Vaduva, Victoria de los Ángeles, Teresa Berganza, Jaime Aragall, José Carreras, Plácido Domingo, Alfredo Kraus, Carlos Álvarez, Joan Pons and Brian Terfel; the actors Francisco Rabal, Adolfo Marsillach and Irene Papas; the violoncellist Mstislav Rostropóvitx, the guitarist Narciso Yepes, the harpist Nicanor Zabaleta, the pianists Martha Argerich and Alicia de Larrocha, the composer Philip Glass, the conductors Jesús López-Cobos, Sir Neville Marriner, Zubin Mehta, Víctor Pablo Pérez, Mstislav Rostropóvitx, Gennady Rozhdestvensky and Yuri Temirkanov; the stage directors Bob Wilson, Mario Gas and La Fura dels Baus, the dancers Mikhail Baryshnikov, Joaquín Cortés, Nacho Duato, Antonio Gades and Maya Plisetskaya. Thus, the Israel Philarmonic Orchestra, the Philarmonic of St. Petersburg, the Orquestra Simfònica de Barcelona i Nacional de Catalunya, the Orquestra Simfònica del Gran Teatre del Liceu and the Royal Philarmonic Orchestra have been invited by the Festival as well.
In 1991 the Festival applied for entry to the EFA and was accepted at the following assembly in Pesaro.
Each year the Festival commissions a poster featuring an imaginative portrait of a great composer: this portrait has been done by artists such as Arroyo, Saura, Folon, Mariscal, Miralda, Pérez Villalta, Gordillo and Plensa. Lieder Camera de Sabadell, directed by Josep Vila is the Festival’s resident Choir, and the Orquestra de Cadaqués is the Festival’s resident Orchestra: Sir Neville Marriner is the guest conductor and the orchestra has commissioned and played new scores from composers such as Xavier Montsalvatge and Tomás Marco.