We have just returned, very reluctantly, from our 31st. visit over 19 years to the same Hotel in Palma Nova and I would like to voice my complaints to you after reading your item in The Bulletin last week.
We cannot understand why the Spanish Authorities have allowed the tourist industry to use their remarkable Country, and particularly the jewels in the crown, The Balearics, as little more than a toilet. In the 19 years we have seen the number of bars, restaurants and shops, residential developement etc. spread all over the coastline, hillsides and mountains around Palma Nova. It is only natural that an island whose resident population has risen by 700'000 in 50 years, and whose tourist population has risen from 100'000 in 1950 to 6'200'000, with a rise in accommodation beds from 8'200 to 390'000 in the same time will get problems like litter and concrete jungle type buildings due to the speed that this change has been allowed to take place in. The number of bars is now ludicrous. All but a few are empty of customers, most have young people hanging around outside them soliciting trade, signs with logo's like Roast Sunday Lunch with real Bisto gravy and Chip Buttie's ptas most be run by people with no interest in keeping the area even remotely tidy and decent. Bars with Chubby Brown and the likes blaring obsenities all day so that people with children either have to go another way or subject them to this way of trying to encourage trade. Then we have the No we aren't time shares we are a holiday survey but by the way we can give you a free taxi to a shared holiday accomodation development people on every street corner, which together with the bar soliciting makes a walk through the resort a pain in the as we have to constantly say no to people who are trained to take no as merely a challenge to be overcome. (Strange how they all get the bonus 50.00 pound card every time a couple do a scratch card and how they all react in the same way when they win it.)
But the icing on the cake comes in the summer, when all day and every day a single engined plane flies over the resorts of Calvia trailing a banner telling all the visitors what they already know as that's what they came to the Island in the first place for. There are disco's in Magalluf!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Full marks to the Balearic Symphony Orchestra
Although I have only been here for a very short visit, I was pleased to see yesterday that the Balearic Symphony Orchestra was giving a concert in the music conservatory. I do not think I have heard the orchestra play better. The high standards of musicianship of this orchestra goes without saying, but under the baton of Salvador Brotons, they really raise their standards and come alive.
The concert to celebrate their 10th anniversay should have been in the auditorium, their alma mater, but obviously this was not available at this time, and an alternative venue was found. Having read the 10th anniversary commemorative book, I realize that this orchestra was founded by a man of vision, who not only had the idea but had the courage to take it forward. I think organising an orchestra is like organising a football club -unfortunately, the people who matter are the musicians and, of course, the conductor -sadly the managing administration feel they are not the orchestra's servants but its masters.
This orchestra responds totally to the commands of Salvador Brotons. There is a closeness between them and him and it shows in the standard of their performance. Other concerts I have attended during this winter programme, I have felt the visiting conductor could have stayed home and the orchestra would have played just as well without him. This is an opinion that is shared by others. I feel the administrators should go down on their knees and beg Sr Brotons to have another 3-year contract. Where I come from, the City of Birmingham had Sir Simon Rattle under contract for some 18 years, allowing him to work the orchestra and raise its standards to those it holds today.
Considering the concert last night was free, there were too many empty seats -- not good at all, but those who failed to attend missed an evening of musical magic.
Long may the BSO stay in existence and continue to give us, the concert-goers, as much pleasure in the future as it has in the past.
Well done, and all the very best in the future.