This autumn, for the 26th year, Girona becomes the capital of the performing arts. The Temporada Alta festival, an international benchmark and one of the events most anticipated by culture lovers, begins on October 11 and offers the best of national and international productions until December 10. It features a multidisciplinary programme of the best of theatre, dance and contemporary creation, complemented by carefully selected music, cinema and circus productions and shows for the whole family. This is a guide arranged in five itineraries so you can find everything and get the best out of this unmissable programme!
The best international theatre and dance shows
Temporada Alta provides the privilege of being able to enjoy the presence of prestigious national and international creators and shows on stage. This year, it establishes a special connection with Flanders and Latin America with a carefully selected range of shows. Moreover, the international programme goes even further and provides unique opportunities you cannot miss!
The festival is twinned with Flanders, one of the most active and avant-garde European artistic scenes, with a programme that brings together leading Flemish theatre creators from all disciplines. Josse de Pauw, actor, playwright and director at the forefront of Belgian theatre, joins forces with Arnon Grunberg and the soprano Claron McFadden to present De mensheid (‘Humanity’), a show in the form of a conversation between theatre and opera, in which they defend humanity with all the partial honesty of a political pamphlet.
The director Guy Cassiers brings to the stage Grensgeval (‘Borderline’), a play by the writer and playwright Elfriede Jelinek, winner of the Nobel Prize in 2004, which explores the plight of refugees, who in her opinion are the great symbol of an impotent Europe. Both shows are in Dutch with overtitles in Catalan.
Latin American connection
Temporada Alta strengthens its ties with the Latin American scene with this programme that makes the festival a gateway to Europe for the most interesting Latin American productions. Five shows from four countries (Brazil, Argentina, Colombia and Mexico), notably including the following:
From Mexico comes Mendoza, by Los Colochos Teatro, an adaptation of Shakespeare’s Macbeth in the context of the Mexican Revolution, offering a highly relevant reflection. From Colombia, La Congregación Teatro brings Camargo, a production that tells the story of a serial rapist and murderer who killed over 150 women in Ecuador. And from Argentina, the independent creator Federico León presents Las ideas, a false/real work in progress, focused on the limits between reality and fiction, which the audience will be able to observe from inside and outside.
After the success of other festivals, Temporada Alta once again programmes theatre in English. From Great Britain, the company 1927 presents Golem, which reworks the old myth of Jewish tradition that gives life to a fantastical mud creature to create a show with the aesthetics of the interwar avant-gardes, acclaimed around the world since its premiere in Salzburg and London.
Unmissable European productions!
Among the European productions that can be seen in this year’s Temporada Alta is a series of shows that offer a unique opportunity for the audience here, and which will only have two performances. Hurry to book your tickets!
The director Declan Donnellan comes with his Russian company to present a very different Shakespeare comedy. Dvenadtsataia Noch (‘Twelfth Night’) is a production with an exclusively male cast to create even more confusion and sexual ambiguity.
Oskara Korsunovas, a distinguished director in current Lithuanian theatre, brings to the stage Pamiselis (‘Diary of a Madman’), a play by Nicolai Gogol that explains the perverse mechanism by which an ordinary man can become a dictator.
And, from the world of flamenco, comes the dancer Rocío Molina, winner of the National Dance Award 2010 and associate artiste at the Théâtre de Chaillot in Paris, with Impulso, an intense work in progress, bursting with talent, flamenco and experimentation, ahead of her new show.
The premieres of the season
Temporada Alta is the gateway to the start of the theatre season in Catalonia, the festival that boasts the premiere of many productions by Catalan creators, which will then transfer to Barcelona and tour the rest of the country. Check the programme carefully because there are many productions, but here we provide a selection of unmissable and familiar names in the Festival. Your opportunity to see them first!
The actor Lluís Homar and director Pau Miró work together again with the premiere of Cyrano in the Temporada Alta festival. After playing all the characters of Terra baixa and enjoying great success around the country, Homar dons the nose of one of the most famous soldier poets in the history of theatre: Cyrano de Bergerac. Alongside four other actors and, once again, with songs by Sílvia Pérez Cruz, it promises emotion and great romanticism.
The director Alícia Gorina, who presented her acclaimed Watching Peeping Tom at the TA14, also brings another premiere to the Festival. She presents Blasted, by a playwright she greatly admires, Sarah Kane, and with the performance of a real giant of the stage, Pere Arquillué. The play, which caused a stir in British society, dramatises the illicit meeting of a young woman and a misogynistic and racist lover.
The playwright and actress Daniela Feixas, under the direction of Ramon Simó, presents her new play, Simone, starring alongside Tilda Espluga and Anna Güell. It explores what would happen if nature sporadically and radically began reacting to the imbalances that humanity has created and that endanger the survival of the planet.
And the director Miquel Górriz brings the actor Xicu Masó to the stage in a monologue in which he performs El metge de Lampedusa, a play that explores human dignity. It is based on the true story of doctor Pietro Bartolo, who with the journalist Lidia Tilotta, wrote about the experience in the book Tears of Salt and one day decided to return to his island of birth, Lampedusa, to help those arriving from the sea. A highly personal way of getting us to understand the urgency of the catastrophe experienced in the Mediterranean.
Dance season productions
Dance is one of the main focuses of the Temporada Alta programme, the best place to enjoy for the first time shows by Catalan creators that will become an essential part of the next season. This year, Sol Picó, who rather than just a choreographer is an artist that defies labels or limits, returns with a world premiere. He presents Dancing with Frogs, focusing on the masculine world at a time when the male has perhaps suffered a crisis of identity. Seven performers (dancers, singers, musicians and actors) will portray all possible 21st century men in a tragicomic show about different masculine models.
The dancer Lali Ayguadé also returns with her most recent choreography. Her show IUanMi, her second project as a choreographer, reflects on people's behaviour in reaction to irreversible events such as death and funerals; and to what is private and social, to what is personal and public. A production with four dancers, combining dance, music and theatre with dramaturgy by Jordi Oriol.
Catalan playwriting tournament
Emotion. Humour. Tension. Passion. Enthusiasm. Two forty-minute plays. Two unique actors. And only one winner. The most anticipated confrontation returns, presented by Cristina Clemente. The great combat of Catalan playwriting. For the 7th consecutive year, eight playwrights will go face to face and use words to defeat their rivals and win the audience vote. The tournament is a cordial confrontation between Catalan playwrights that has already become a fixture of the Festival. And, like every year, the audience will choose the best play of each of the four combats, from the two semi-finals and the Grand Final. This year, the rivals will be the playwrights Laia Alsina Ferrer, Toni Cabré, Juli Disla, Raquel Loscos, Anna Maria Ricart, Xisco Rosselló, Carla Torres and Manuel Veiga.
This year the Festival premieres plays by some of the playwrights who have previously participated in the Tournament (some of whom have won). These include the aforementioned Pau Miró and Daniela Feixas or Ferran Joanmiquel, who presents El color de la llum.
The most ground-breaking programme of the festival
Contemporary creation productions, which are a special feature of the programme, will take place throughout the Festival and particularly during the Sacseja’t International Programmers' Week, to be held from November 23 to 26. Through different activities, Temporada Alta nurtures the exchange of projects and the production and circulation of shows and cooperation between institutions, artistes and international professionals.
Inspired by the five books of Spinoza's Ethics, the Italian Romeo Castellucci, a unique voice of European theatre, brings Ethica. Natura e origine della mente, a show that invites the audience to perform a stage ritual from a surprisingly radical perspective.
The restless, brilliant and ground-breaking Belgian choreographer Alain Platel presents Out of Context – for Pina, where he undertakes a journey through the memory of the human being using a language of movement linked to the unconscious. A language that includes spasms, tics and convulsions.
El Conde de Torrefiel, one the most internationally renowned Spanish companies, explores the field of documentary theatre for the first time with Guerrilla.
The show is a lecture, a tai chi lesson and an electronic music session to illustrate the inflammatory tensions of a Europe living a latent peace of violence.
From Brazil comes the creator Christiane Jatahy with A floresta que anda (‘The Walking Forest’), a performance inspired by Shakespeare's Macbeth. Her dramatic language is a hybrid of theatre and cinema in a space that is no longer a stage and has become an art gallery and questions the powers that control our lives.
The tireless Argentinean creator Mariano Pensotti focuses on the centenary of the Russian Revolution to reflect on the mark it left on society, culture and women's liberation in the production Arde brillante en los bosques de la noche. By adapting some formal ideas of the Soviet avant-garde, he builds a big Russian doll, a theatre matryoshka, to share with the audience the ground-breaking and non-conformist spirit of a time when everything seemed possible.
Àlex Rigola, a Catalan director with his own theatre language who has achieved solid international prestige, explores Chekov's universe with Vania, a free version of the play Uncle Vanya. It is a piece that reaches the core of the playwright through play, an intimate event in which performers and audience will share space and melancholia.
The unclassifiable creator Roger Bernat invites the audience to construct their own account of Islamic State with the show No se registran conversaciones de interés. Upon entering the room, the audience will be given wireless headphones with three-channels, each one offering the possibility to listen to actors reproducing real talks between combatants and their families. A reflection on Islamic State free of journalistic filters.
The singer Niño de Elche, a surprising revolution within the world of flamenco, and Maria Muñoz, a dancer of the company Mal Pelo, perform 7 Lunas. The show consists of seven landscapes, seven ways of expressing and transforming the mutual impact of the meeting of these two figures into art. A frantic and yet highly respectful duel between two giants of the stage.
Music, cinema, family productions, and much more...
Temporada Alta is much more than theatre and dance, it is also music, cinema, circus and other events specifically designed for the youngest audience. The musical programme includes outstanding national and international names that are not always easy to see live. The season film productions cover the Catalan and international panorama, featuring the latest hits. And for the family audience, circus, musical theatre and many other productions for both adults and children to enjoy.
The Uruguayan singer Jorge Drexler presents in Temporada Alta his latest album, Salvavidas de Hielo, ahead of a tour through Spain. With the guitar as the main source of inspiration, it features songs full of rhythm, originality and extraordinary melodies.
Another of the international artistes to present a new album in Temporada Alta is Trombone Shorty, the renowned New Orleans musician and singer. Under the title Parking Lot Symphony, it encompasses a repertoire that goes beyond jazz to cover rhythms and emotions, from funk and hip hop to the deepest blues.
Oumou Sangaré, the greatest and most moving female voice in current African music, returns to the Festival, where she played in 2010, with her latest album Mogaya. An album rooted in tradition and the Wassoulou genre, although open to new influences, by a singer who throughout her career has used songs to condemn the situation of women in her country, Mali, and oppose polygamy, child marriage and an entire male chauvinist system that sees women as submissive beings.
You can also listen to the prodigious voice of Sílvia Pérez Cruz surrounded by a string quartet. Musicians and renowned guests for a recital based on her latest album, Vestida de nit, featuring a set of songs written by herself and others, brought together to explore the most intense emotions.
On Saturday December 9 Sopa de Cabra, one of the most celebrated Catalan pop rock bands, says farewell to three years of touring. To do so, they have begun a new personal project, La Nit dels Sopa, an event that endeavours to revive the spirit of the group year after year, setting an annual date for all its fans and fellow bands. On this first occasion, they will be accompanied by M-Clan and Adrià Puntí.
The Festival and Cinema Truffaut join together again to promote productions by Catalan and European directors, films that are often very artistically bold and recognised with prestigious awards. You can enjoy, for example, The Square, by Swedish director Ruben Östlund, considered by critics the gifted pupil of Michael Haneke and winner of the Palme d’Or Cannes 2017. Also notable is Homeland (Iraq Year Zero), by Abbas Fahdel, a documentary that explores life in Iraq before and after the post 11S American invasion and shows the real scope of war. The Catalan director Marc Recha will present La vida lliure, an intimate film set in Menorca, featuring Sergi López. And Carla Simón, the director of the celebrated Estiu 1993, will deliver a master class on how this film was shot, including its screening. Moreover, Temporada Alta shows its commitment to the relationship between the performing arts and cinema with the season ‘Cine i escena’, which explores this dialogue with documentaries and other artistic and audiovisual works. As a culmination of the film season, the first Gala of the 'Cine and Escena' Award of the JamesonNotodofilmfest will be held. And the short film The One Project II, directed by Xavier Bobés, will be premiered in 2018.
Under the label El Planter, Temporada Alta supports quality family productions for all ages with the aim of nurturing sensitivity for the performing arts in the very young.
The circus productions include Dolce Vita, the new show by Mag Lari, which brings to the stage magic and sleight of hand set in Fellini's Italy. And also the famous international company Cirque Éloize, which with Saloon will transport the audience to the Far West of cowboy and Indian films. Finally, the company Les rois vagabonds will offer their Concerto pour deux clowns, in which music is just the beginning of a concert that becomes a poetic chaos led by two clowns.
Moreover, Temporada Alta offers a new opportunity to enjoy El Petit Príncep by Àngel Llàcer, Manu Guix and La Perla 29, a musical show for all ages that triumphs season after season. Based on Saint-Exupéry's tale, it features spectacular contemporary visual and poetic staging and many evocative songs.
Guide to fully enjoy the festival
Bear in mind that during Temporada Alta tickets fly! The Festival's general ticket sales begin on September 8 at different times and through different channels. On the Festival's website you will find full details to fully enjoy the experience: times, programmes, information... And if you find that the show you like is sold out... don't worry! We suggest some great alternatives!
To find out everything about Temporada Alta, check out its blog, #plusTA, a digital platform that seeks to enrich the audience's theatre experience. It brings together a series of news capsules, such as articles, interviews and videos providing additional information and interesting details about the outstanding directors, the companies and shows.
If you want to be spot on with the shows you see but are not sure what to choose from the programme, we provide a solution! Temporada Alta suggests three tools that will help you if you have any doubt about what to see. You can, for instance, send an e-mail to email@example.com; you only need to specify your age and the shows you enjoyed in previous years or from the current Festival and they will help you choose. You can also check the map of artistic itineraries and find genre connections to discover events of interest. Or you can have a look at the programme of Temporada Alta day by day and combine more than one show per day to improve your TA experience.
I want to go
If the tickets for a show you want to see are sold out, you can visit the website, choose the tab 'I want to go' and register on a list. If tickets become available or more performances are added, you will be informed.
There is a general feeling that Temporada Alta tickets sell out quickly. This happens for some shows, but we recommend that a few days before the performance you visit the website again. Tickets often become available at the last minute. Remember that you can also register in the tab “I want to go” and you will be notified if a new performance is added or more seats are put on sale. On the website homepage there is also a counter indicating the number of tickets available for a show. If you see that there are few tickets left, don't dally and buy your ticket. Don't miss out!
Follow Temporada Alta on the social networks to stay up to date with everything concerning the Festival. You can find contests, raffles, live broadcasts, post-performances and all the latest news minute by minute. And you can also express your views on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube and Flickr with the hashtags #TA17 and #illaTA.
One day or one weekend!
If you don't live in Girona, enjoying a Temporada Alta show can also be an opportunity to spend a completely different day or weekend in the city, alone, with your partner, friends or family. It is easy to get there by local and national train services. On the Temporada Alta website you will find recommended hotels and restaurants, close to the venues of the shows you have chosen. And you can organise your visit to enjoy an intensive stay, and coincide with the main city festival of Girona, the programme Sacseja’t, featuring the best of contemporary creation, sightseeing...
The Festival's promotional video
Once again, the Temporada Alta promotional video is spectacular! Some past videos won awards such as the Grand Laus and the Laus d’Or and are benchmarks in the audiovisual field. This year, under the title La Llibertat, directed by Salvador Sunyer and produced by Nanouk Films, it was shot at the Teatre Municipal de Girona and deals with freedom, in the context of theatre as its last line of defence.