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A day of rehearsals and a night of reflection

  • The Liceu proposes “a day of rehearsals and a night of reflection”, an action which will be held on 24 November, in which the theatre will broadcast its entire activity by streaming, closing with the tour de force of Tristano performing Erik Satie’s Vexations non-stop from 20:00 to 08:00

  • This exceptional, unique and global action aims to focus on music and symbolize the tireless effort that the sector is making to survive. This programme is therefore intended for all those theatres, musicians and artists who currently have no activity

  • Barcelona’s opera house will also broadcast by streaming the rehearsals of La traviata scheduled for that same day, the opera that it hopes to be able to premiere on the coming 5 December with a maximum capacity of 50%

Barcelona, 20 de novembre de 2020. Following the latest restrictions to cultural activity announced in Catalonia, Barcelona’s Gran Teatre del Liceu is preparing an exceptional, unique and global action on the coming 24 November called “a day of rehearsals and a night of reflection”, which will consist of broadcasting its entire activity by streaming.

The day will begin by broadcasting the rehearsals of Verdi’s La traviata (12:30 and 16:00), the opera that the theatre has been preparing since the beginning of November. The idea of this day is to transmit the importance of being able to undertake cultural activity with a capacity of 50% (without a maximum limit) in the same way and with all the precautions with which the theatre opened in September. Once the rehearsals have ended, the Liceu will continue with an exceptional activity in the main auditorium, an action of reflection which appeals to our conscience: the performance of the work Vexations by Erik Satie from 20:00 to 08:00.

This piece will be performed by the pianist Francesco Tristano, born in Luxembourg and resident in Barcelona, an artist who has always been sensitive and open to new experiences. His style is the result of a hybrid between classical training and knowledge of electronic music. As the artist himself indicates: “Music above anything” is a phrase which has been with me since my early youth and which has guided me until... 2020. Public health! An absolute priority, we agree. But please let’s not forget that music is health. Nietzsche was much more eloquent in this respect: “Without music life would be a mistake, an exhausting path, exile”.

In 1893, Satie was in love with the Impressionist painter Suzanne Valadon. When she left with a rich banker, the composer had to overcome true grief and, feeling humiliated, he wrote the work Vexations: a brief ballad of 152 notes lasting less than one minute, which has to be repeated 840 times. This cyclical and obsessive repetition becomes a true marathon for the performer and an esoteric and extraordinary Everest. Its performance awakens very different feelings in the audience, from melancholy to anxiety. Seemingly inoffensive, Vexations is an acerbic and assertive piece, which includes aspects of condemnation. It is a way of showing the anguish and alarm experienced by the Liceu in these times of uncertainty and a way of responding through Art to the impossibility of opening to the public. This tour de force also wants to represent the effort and perseverance of the cultural sector to survive and not become disheartened in these extraordinary times. An act of reflection to reinforce the structures of the cultural sector at times of crisis, to keep the sector united and to defend all those theatres which are currently closed.

Gran Teatre del Liceu (© Paco Amate)