Teatro Real in Madrid
Fundación Banco Santander is one of the principal sponsors of the musical season of the Teatro Real in Madrid, which includes operas, dance performances, concerts and recitals.
The 2017 opera season opened with performances of Wagner’s Der fliegende Holländer, Britten’s Billy Budd and Mendoza’s La ciudad de las mentiras. It continued in spring with the premier of the theatre’s first stage production of Händel’s Rodelinda, Montsalvatge’s El gato con botas, Ginastera’s Bomarzo, and Rimsky-Korsakov’s The Golden Cockerel. Summer opera-goers were treated to Puccini’s Madame Butterfly and Verdi’s Macbeth. The final quarter of the year began with Mozart’s Lucio Silla, continued with Bizet’s Carmen and Donizetti’s La Favorite, and concluded with Puccini’s La Bohème.
The dance season featured appearances by the Vienna State Ballet, which returned to Teatro Real with Le Corsaire; Spain’s National Dance Company in A Night with Forsythe; the Martha Graham Dance Company, which performed historic choreographies by one of the most innovative artists in contemporary dance; and the National Ballet of Spain with Sorolla.
Gran Teatre del Liceu
2017 Opera for All Performances
Fundación Banco Santander sponsors the "opera for all" season performances at the Gran Teatre del Liceu in Barcelona. These special sessions at budget prices were created to make music more accessible to everyone, attract new opera fans and give young performers a moment in the international limelight.
Among the great repertory works offered in 2017, the most noteworthy—by virtue of their varied stage productions and superb vocal talents—were a spectacular version of Mozart’s Die Zauberflöte that evoked the silent film era, Verdi’s Macbeth, in a timeless yet dramatic classical setting, the return of Romanticism in Massenet’s Werther, with a riotous contrast of colours and forms, and the minimalist technical complexity of Puccini’s Rigoletto.
Ballet performances included Coppélia with the Sodre National Ballet of Uruguay, directed by the dancer Julio Bocca, and Spectral Evidence / La Stravaganza, two contemporary pieces by choreographer Angelin Preljocaj.
Finally, these affordable sessions offered audiences a chance to hear a recital by the baritone Simon Keenlyside.
Fundación Banco Santander is a patron of the Orfeó Català Choir School, an educational, artistic and social project of the Palau de la Música Catalana which provides musical and vocal training for 210 children and youth between the ages of 6 and 24.
In 2017 the Cor Jove participated in season performances of the Barcelona Symphony Orchestra and the Convent de les Arts in Alcover, the Classical and Traditional Music Festival of Esplugues de Llobregat, and the 11th World Symposium on Choral Music. The Cor de Noies sang with the Vallès Symphony Orchestra in the programme Els planetes i Star Trek at the Palau and performed in Hannover.
The Cor Infantil travelled to Pisa to perform Monteverdi’s Vespersand accompanied the Barcelona Symphony Orchestra on a live performance of the soundtrack of the film Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers. The Cor Mitjans and Cor Petits gave the concert El viatge d’Ulisses. L’Odissea en cançons at Tiana and the Petit Palau, and a performance for the Maria Canals Competition in the Palau foyer. Additionally, the Cor Jove and Cor de Noies sang the European premiere of Considering Matthew Shephard at the Palau de la Música Catalana.
Finally, all five of the Choir School’s ensembles participated in the New Year's and end of term concerts at the Palau, and accompanied the Orfeó Català and Cor de Cambra in the traditional Sant Esteve (St. Stephen’s Day) concert.
Fundación Banco Santander sponsors the musical season of the Orfeón Donostiarra, an amateur choir that celebrated its 120th anniversary in 2017.
This year the choir travelled to London to participate in the Proms at the Royal Albert Hall, singing the concert version of Beethoven’s opera Fidelio with the BBC Philharmonic under the baton of Juanjo Mena. Maestro Gustavo Dudamel conducted them in a performance of Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9 with the Galicia Symphony Orchestra in the Plaza del Obradoira in Santiago de Compostela.
They also gave two concerts at the 78th San Sebastián Musical Fortnight: Beethoven’s Fidelio, again with the BBC Philharmonic and Juanjo Mena conducting, and Verdi’s Requiem with the Luxembourg Philharmonic conducted by Gustavo Gimeno. They repeated this performance at the Santander International Festival.
Santander International Festival
For years, Fundación Banco Santander has been a staunch supporter of the Santander International Festival, one of the most important international events on the cultural calendar in Cantabria.
At the 66th edition, the foundation sponsored a concert given on 27 August by the Luxembourg Philharmonic Orchestra and its conductor Gustavo Gimeno.
It also featured the voices of the Orfeón Donostiarra and a stellar cast: mezzo-soprano Daniela Barcellona, soprano María José Siri, tenor Antonio Poli and bass Riccardo Zanellato. The chosen work on this occasion was Requiem by Italian composer Giuseppe Verdi.
Francesco Ruggieri Cello
Among the many valuable assets managed by Fundación Banco Santander is a Ruggieri cello, which this year was entrusted to Asier Polo, considered the finest cellist of his generation, in view of his professional merits. Polo currently teaches at the Music School of the Basque Country and is the artistic director of the Music and Performing Arts Department at Alfonso X El Sabio University and of Forum Musikae.
The luthier Francesco Ruggieri (Cremona, 1645–1720), who studied under Nicolò Amati like his fellow apprentice Antonio Stradivari, made this singular cello in 1689. In addition to its beauty and the quality of its materials, this instrument is remarkable because its proportions differ from that of the modern-day cello, established by Stradivari around 1700. Thanks to Fundación Banco Santander, it can now be enjoyed again in Asier Polo’s performances with the finest Spanish and international orchestras.