Flamenco Carmen, Gaudi’s Unfinished Cathedral, Barcelo Sant
SEE THE WORLD AND SEE WORLD THEATRE
Flying into Barcelona from Rome my main concern was that the flight would arrive on time, that I’d manage to find the train into Barcelona, check into the hotel and get to the Theatre Tivoli for the 18.30 performance of Flamenco Carmen. I had left Spoleto at 8am, taken the train to Roma Termini, another train to Fiumicino Airport to arrive with plenty of time to get rid of my luggage, to eat pizza like an Italian and to check out the duty free shopping.
Arriving in Barcelona, I was struck by the size, cleanliness and organization of the airport. Perhaps it is a legacy from the recent Olympic Games, but it was certainly easy to find one’s way even to a bus that transferred you from one terminal to another to get to the train.
Please remember in all of this, it’s now 4.00 pm and I’m getting anxious about time.
The Flamenco Carmen is a production of the Ballet Flamenco De Madrid and the show has been on tour. Barcelona is it’s last touring date before going to other parts of Europe, so I only had one chance at this. But to be on the safe side of financial madness in case I didn’t make it to the show, I had only booked a ticket in the gods at about €16.00.
Ok so I made it, with time to have a cinema Coca Cola tumbler sized gin and tonic before the show and to be told at the door, that even though I have a ticket for upstairs, the audience is small, so I could sit in the stalls! Bliss!
And what a show, a troupe of some 16 male and female dancers, a 3 piece Flamenco band – flute, guitar and percussion plus a sensational female Flamenco singer.
The story was totally faithful to Bizet’s Carmen using recorded music, but in addition it seamlessly segued into Flamenco music to provide the dancers the opportunity to portray their art. Two hours of Flamenco heaven. The production values concentrated on great costumes with The Toreador sequence being a spectacle in both dance and costume and the ultimate show stopper.
I do hope that the current economic climate does not deter this company from continuing with their programme which also includes a version of Carmina Burana. Perhaps I should investigate if it is playing in Madrid when I’m there. That would be a marvellous double.
http://www.balletflamencomadrid.com should whet your Flamenco appetite if you are traveling to Europe in the near future.
When I came out of the show it was still daylight so I got a taxi to Gaudi’s Unfinished Cathedral and it is astonishing. After wandering around the Cathedral, I braved the underground back to hotel. Barcelona is a very beautiful city. There is a theatre festival here called the Grec Festival which takes place in an ampitheatre built in the Greek style in 1928. It is a world theatre event, but this year the dates and programme didn’t fit into my time frame. It will definitely become a venue to explore in the future.
Festival Grec de Barcelona – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Finally, I want to do a rave about the Barcelo Sants Hotel. Dear Pan Australian Travel booked me here and as I got out of the station I wasn’t quite sure what I was looking for.
It is literally above the station. Trudging a ramp way to a lift with just the international symbols for food, beverages and accommodation I was somewhat apprehensive but when I got to ‘o’ floor I had walked into a Space Station! Please go to the website below to appreciate the concept. I really loved the entire Ikea layout and furnishings for cleanliness,functionality and lack of clutter.
A great recommendation PAT. Thank you. And so was the Hotel Dei Duchi in Spoleto.
Both hotels could not be more different, the grace and quiet elegance of Umbria in comparison to the high tech fuctionality and brilliant location of Barcelona, but both spectacularly successful for the relative locations.