Joan Pons and the Pollença Festival

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Mallorcans love the arts, and artists, music and dance, culture and all. Mallorca was for instance the home of the painter, Joan Miró. I’ll tell you about him, sometime soon. And now, you have Miquel Barceló, him of the new chapel at Palma’s cathedral.

In the northeast of the island, there is the delightful small town of Pollença, a place which in the Thirties attracted many artists and film stars, such as Errol Flynn and Frank Sinatra. An outstanding feature of Pollença’s cultural identity is the annual Festival of Classical Music which has been held in the historic cloisters of Sant Domingo during the months of July and August, since 1961. The Pollença Festival is considered one of the major music events in the Mediterranean area and an important date in the music calendar each and every Summer. Pollença may not have the same clout as Salzburg or Bayreuth, but it certainly is up there with the big festivals of prestige.

During its 46 years of uninterrupted existence and constant evolution, Pollença Festival goers have been able to listen to Mstislav Rostropovich, Jessye Norman, the Alban Berg Quartett, Friedrich Gulda, Montserrat Caballé, the National Orchestra of France with Lorin Maazel, Ravi Shankar, and many other music estrellas.

This year, the Pollença Festival is held from 7 July until 25 August. Performances will be on every Wednesday and Saturday. They are being staged outside in very pleasant surroundings, but in the event of unpleasant weather, concerts are transferred to an indoor venue.

On 9 August, a very special night will bring us a concert performance by Joan Pons, reputedly one of the world’s best baritone singer. Tickets are still available at 35 € and 45 €. Click here for reservations.

 

Joan Pons is a born Menorcan. Between 1983 and 2001, he had a permanent artistic home at the Metropolitan Opera in New York. The photo above is borrowed from his website. It shows Pons in the production of Pagliacci, as recently performed in Madrid.

 

There is a very good book out on Joan Pons, but unfortunately, so far only in Catalán. It was written by Toni Pizà, a Mallorquín who teaches music at NYC University. Pizà told me, however, that an English language version is due out soon.

 

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See, if you can make it to Pollença, either for Joan Pons, on 9 Augus, or if not, perhaps for I Virtuosi Italiani, on 25 August, with Krzysztof Penderecki as the conductor. In either event, have a pleasant night out.

Should your musical tastes be more in the field of Jazz, however, I would like to remind you that one of the all-time Greats of Jazz, John Coltrane, died 40 years ago today. He’s never been to Pollença, to my knowledge.

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