Bogotá’s Teatro Mayor rolls out stellar 2023 program

Scene from ballet Giselle/Teatro Mayor.

The Teatro Mayor Julio Mario Santo Domingo has rolled out its 2023 program, with Spain, extending its role as Guest Nation of Honor. Included in a cultural agenda that brings together national and international artists across every genre, among the many highlights is the sixth edition of the International Classical Music Festival of Bogotá (April 5 – 8) with a focus on La Belle Époque.

The festival will present works by Claude Debussy, Maurice Ravel, Lili Boulanger, Camille Saint-Saëns, Gabriel Fauré and Cécile Chaminade, among others.

The Orchestre des Champs-Élysées, German singer Ute Lemper, Spanish violinist Leticia Moreno, Hungarian ballet company Győr, Colombian soprano Betty Garcés and cellist Santiago Cañón-Valencia are some of the invited artists.

The regular 2023 program of Teatro Mayor has also invited renown orchestras and soloists, including American soprano Renée Fleming, Kiev Virtuosi Symphony Orchestra of Ukraine, Russian violinist Maxim Vengerov and the Australian circus company Circa Contemporary Circus. Renée Fleming will make her debut at Teatro Mayor on June 14.

Representing Spain as Guest Nation of Honor is the National Dance Company, National Dance Ballet, María Pagés Company and National Orchestra of Spain. Within the section titled Basque Window is the contemporary dance company Kukai Dantza.

The German singer/actress Ute Lemper inaugurates La Belle Époque with the concert “Days of Paris and Berlin Nights.” The multifaceted artist was nominated for a Grammy for her classic take on Berlin Cabaret, and awarded an Olivier for her portrayal of Velma Kelly in the West End production of the musical Chicago. Most recently, Lemper dedicates most of her concert tours to the show Rendezvous with Marlene, homage to Marlene Dietrich’s story in words and music.

The Orchestre des Champs-Élysées under the direction of Gabriella Teychenné; Austrian harpist Elisabeth Plank; French quartet Van Kuijk; pianists Alexandre Tharaud (France) and Daniel Heide (Germany); and Györ Ballet of Hungary with a choreographic version of Ravel’s Bolero are among the international highlights of the Classic Music Festival. The national talent includes Buenaventura-born soprano Betty Garcés; cellist Santiago Cañón-Valencia; accordionist Lácides Romero, pianist Blanca Uribe, Philharmonic Orchestra of Medellín, Youth Philharmonic of Colombia and Nueva Filarmonía Orchestra.

For opera lovers, Puccini’s beloved Tosca (February 24 and 26) returns to the main stage in a co-production between Teatro Mayor and La Compañía Estable. The three-act opera will be directed by Pedro Salazar, with musical direction by conductor Andrés Orozco-Estrada and National Symphony Orchestra of Colombia. A contemporary opera version of La vida es sueño – masterpiece by Pedro Calderón de la Barca – will be directed by Alejandro Chacón, and premieres a score by Juan Pablo Carreño. The French chamber orchestra La Chapelle Harmonique will interpret this work on July 21 and 22.

The Grand Concerts features the Kiev Virtuosi Symphony Orchestra on June 6 under the baton of Dmitry Yablonsky, and in the Great Soloists series, Israeli violinist and conductor Maxim Vengerov, perform on November 18. Vengerov has been hailed among the greatest living string players on the international concert circuit.

Canada’s Dynamo Théâtre will present their show À deux roues, ¡La Vie! (March 3 and 4), and Circa Contemporary Circus, Australia, will dazzle audiences with their gravity-defying Humans 2.0 (October 6 and 7).

With Spain the protagonist of another year of incredible culture, the National Dance Company will give two presentations of the ballet Giselle (January 26 to 29); and the National Ballet will stage La Bella Otero between May 4 and 7. These companies will be joined by the National Orchestra of Spain, with concerts on September 8 and 9. Other  guests from the Iberian peninsula include María Pagés Compañía with a choreographic creation based on the literary classic Las mil y una noches (March 17 and 18); pianist Luis Fernando Pérez (June 27); and guitarist Rosalía Mowgli (August 27).

For innovative Colombian dance, L’Explose will present a new season of Carl Orff’s Carmina Burana, and Llanero singer/songwriter El Cholo Valderrama is among many recording artists returning to Teatro Mayor and its slate of musically diverse concerts.