mon 04/03/2024

Spain

Out of Season, Hampstead Theatre review - banter as bullying

One island off the coast of Spain has more cultural oomph than all the rest put together. I’m talking about Ibiza, the sun-soaked, music-happy and drug-friendly paradise for anyone in their roaring luved-up twenties who wants a break that will fry...

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First Person: Ten Years On - Flamenco guitarist Paco Peña pays tribute to his friend, the late, great Paco de Lucía

There are moments that forever remain imprinted in our consciousness, engraved on the general map of our lives. I cannot forget the excitement of seeing snow for the first time in Córdoba, aged three or four, rushing to walk on it only to slip...

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Sánchez, National Symphony Orchestra, Martín, National Concert Hall, Dublin review - Spanish panache

Ravel’s Boléro, however well you think you know it, usually wows in concert with its disconcerting mix of sensuality, fun and violence. Context can make it even more powerful: in this case as the culmination of NSO Chief Conductor Jaime Martín’s...

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20,000 Species of Bees review - a marvel of a debut

Are we all getting older, or are film award-winners getting younger? Sofía Otero won the Silver Bear for best lead performance at the Berlin Film Festival this year at the age of just nine. To achieve that, it surely needs to be one of the best...

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Ainadamar, Welsh National Opera review - hits hard without breaking ground

I find it hard to know quite what to make of Ainadamar, Argentinian composer Osvaldo Golijov’s one-act opera about the life and death of the Spanish poet Federico Garcia Lorca, who was murdered in unknown circumstances – probably by Nationalist...

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Ballet Flamenco Sara Baras, Sadler's Wells - a roaring start to the Flamenco Festival

When flamenco first came out of the shadows and started to fill big theatres, it was like something out of a historical pageant. The shows that played London in the early 1990s harked back to an imagined gypsy past where old men hammered rhythms on...

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Don Carlo, Royal Opera review - Lise Davidsen soars above routine

Not a good start. The tenor (Brian Jagde) walks downstage and sings loudly, if securely, to the audience: hardly a characterisation of an idealistic young Infante meditating on love. The next voice, the Page’s, is barely heard (Ella Taylor gets...

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Concerto 1700, L’Apothéose, St John's Smith Square review - rare Spanish treasures

Escapees from Eurovision in Westminster on Saturday night might have discovered that a continent-wide enthusiasm for crowd-pleasing international styles arose long before the age of glitzy pop. Two accomplished Spanish groups performed at St John’s...

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Life is a Dream, Cheek by Jowl, Barbican Theatre review - savouring the Spanish of a singular masterpiece

Dream versus reality, fate and free will, love and death, nature versus nurture: they’re all here in Calderón de la Barca’ s ever-startling baroque panopticon, a play so precociously meta that every theatrical game from Pirandello onwards deserves...

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The Beasts review - a countryside idyll loses its charm

The Beasts (As Bestas) is all of two hours and 17 minutes long, and yet to look away is never an option. Spanish director Rodrigo Sorogoyen reels the viewer in masterfully as he builds tension and suspense.A well-educated French couple are...

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Ainadamar, Scottish Opera/Opera Ventures review - worlds collide in fiery fusion

Ainadamar - meaning "fountain of tears" in Arabic – is the name given to a natural spring high in the hills above the Andalucian city of Granada, the site where the poet and playwright Federico Garica Lorca was executed in 1936 during the...

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Official Competition review - satire served cold

There are four main protagonists in Official Competition and they all have one thing in common: an overriding ambition to spend more time with their egos.The first of this quartet is Humberto Suárez (José Luis Gómez). He is an 80-year-old...

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