MALLORCA, Spain, July, 2007 – The sun-drenched Balearic Island of Mallorca, renowned for its Gothic architecture, hilltop villages and olive groves and made famous by its beaches and non-stop parties, will host an extravaganza of cultural events throughout August and September– and many are free. Classical music and dance performances and more than 40 free concerts and film screenings are scheduled for the summer and into the fall. World-renowned electronic musicians are on the bill at the Pitch electronic festival and two Grammy-winning Spanish musicians take center stage at Palma de Mallorca’s bullring while the Mallorca Western Festival offers a taste of the Old West.
Throughout August, concerts of classical music will be held at the 14th century Bellver Castle, overlooking the Bay of Palma, during the 37th annual Summer Serenades International Music Festival. Joaquín Achúcarro kicks off the program on August 2 and the festival continues with the Academy of St. Martin in the Fields Chamber Ensemble (8/7), Maria del Mar Bonet (8/14), Leila Josefowicz and John Novaceck (8/21) and a gala concert for the 50th anniversary of host organization Juventuts Musicals (Young Musicians), including the Choral University of the Balearic Islands (8/28). Prices start at about $27.50 www.mallorcaweb.net/jmpalma/.
Also at the Bellver Castle, the “Summer of Culture 2007” will present three performances of world music through August 28 including a free show by Christine Jones & Jonesmobile with “Jazz voyages” on August 18. Ivan and Ivet Frontela will perform “Cuba in Two Pianos” (8/11) and Mallorca’s own Sterlin will present their new album of pop music (8/25). Concerts start at 10 PM and tickets cost about $13.50.
Pitch, the twelve-hour Mallorca Electronic Music Festival, will showcase 23 acts from eight countries on three stages on August 18. International performers include: Canadian Richie Hawtin, French Miss Kittin, American DJ Rush, Spanish Violadores del Verso, Brit Ben Sims, and Polish Magda. The festival will run from 6 PM to 6 AM at the Polígono de Son Rossinyol, Junto Hipódromo Son Pardo. Tickets cost about $52. www.pitchmallorca.com.
For dance aficionados, the 12th season of Mallorca Ballet runs through the fall and winter and features performances by well-known ensembles including “La Sylphide” (8/23) by the Boston Ballet, “Romeo and Juliet” (8/23) and “Swan Lake” (8/24) by the Ballet of Moscow, the Grupo Corpo from Brazil (9/29), Victor Ullate from Madrid (11/24), and the Ballet Òpera from Dussledorf (2/2). All shows are at the Sala Magna of the Palma Auditorium and tickets start at about $52.
Along with the Bellver Castle and Casal Solleric, the open-air Parque del Mar (Park of the Sea) will host over 40 free events as part of “Cool Nights 2007” with an assorted lineup of rock, pop, classical, world, jazz, blues and swing concerts, theater performances, and a series of films through August 30. Filled with modern sculptures and a ceramic mural by Spanish surrealist Joan Miró, the park has a man-made lake which reflects the Gothic and Baroque Palma Cathedral.
The Polish composer Frédéric Chopin spent a winter with his lover, the writer George Sand, in the cloisters of the Cartuja of Valldemossa, just northeast of Palma de Mallorca. These days, on Sundays in August at 10 PM during the 27th annual Chopin Festival, award-winning pianists from Russia, Japan, Canada and Spain perform programs of Chopin, Schumann, Ravel, Paderewski, Schubert, and de Falla. Tickets start at about $20.50. www.festivalchopin.com
For film connoisseurs, “From the Point of View of Art” will present free screenings of nine award-winning international movies in their original versions in the courtyard of the Casal Solleric, a palace built by the Majorcan nobility in 1763, every Thursday at 10 PM through September 6.
Two Grammy-winning musicians will take the stage at the Plaza de Toros de Palma, the capital city’s bullring: pop singer David Bisbal on August 7 and Alejandro Sanz on August 20.
From September 19 to 23, the Mallorca Western Festival gallops into town. A posse of riding and cowboy aficionados from around the world will gather in Palma de Mallorca’s Plaza de Toros for a lasso-filled celebration, including an urban country rock concert, reining competitions, horse shows and a family day with clowns and pony rides. Offering a record-setting (for Europe) cash prize for the reining competition and world record holders in horse/rider pairings competing for the title, the festival is set to become an important event on the Western sport circuit. Spectators can also be participants, thanks to the festival’s “Non-Pro” tournament for amateur competitors.
For three nights, Apassionata, an equestrian spectacle, mixes horsemanship, elaborate costumes, music and breathtaking theatrical elements to spotlight its stars – horses. The show boasts traditional Spanish dressage, Mexican rope tricks, trick riding and a Broadway review of tap dancing gangsters amidst Frisian horses. Event Consulting International is offering packages from $799 to $1,516 that include airfare, hotel, breakfast, shuttle service, a welcome package, and tickets for all the events.
For more information and complete schedules of all events, visit www.palmademallorca.es
For further information about Spain, contact your travel provider or the Tourist Office of Spain in New York (212-265-8822); Miami (305-358-1992); Chicago (312-642-1992) or Los Angeles (323-658-7188) or go to www.spain.info