Lionel Marchetti | Youtube: thebigpecolaman

A cinematic experience for the ears

Musique concrète is a form of composition that uses recorded sounds and modifies these via various techniques, e.g. tape manipulation. As well as sounds derived from recordings of musical instruments or the human voice, there are those that can be created using synthesizers and computer-based signal processing.

In the 1940s, French composer Pierre Schaeffer was the first to explore musique concrète. In his wake came the likes of Karlheinz Stockhausen, and musique concrète was to go on to influence groups and artists from diverse backgrounds - The Beatles, Philip Glass, Pink Floyd were examples.

Lionel Marchetti is one of today’s leading exponents of musique concrète. His performances feature live music and improvisation using analogue and electronic synthesizers. Marchetti’s compositions are described as being like a cinematic experience for the ears - a musical journey that takes you through different landscapes.

Tuesday, 8pm, Teatre Principal, C. Riera 2, Palma.

Opera returns

Gaetano Donizetti’s ‘L’elisir d’amore’ (The Elixir of Love) is one of the most frequently performed of all the Italian composer’s operas. In fact, it is one of the most popular of all operas in the world.

The premiere was in Milan in 1832, its story line to do with a poor peasant, Nemorino, in love with Adina, a beautiful landowner. The comic opera was received to great acclaim, and it has never looked back.

The classic setting for the opera is the French Basque Country of the end of the eighteenth century. But locations and eras can be modified, and so it is with the Teatre Principal’s interpretation. Conceived by the Majorcan José Martret, who has been behind some of Spain’s most original theatre projects, the love story between Nemorino and Adina has been moved to a Balearic beach of the 1960s.

Juan Antonio Sanabria is Nemorino and Veronica Granatiero is Adina. Music is from the Balearic Symphony Orchestra.

Wednesday, 8pm, Teatre Principal, C. Riera 2, Palma. (Also Friday, same time, and Sunday at 6pm.)

Palma Gospel Singers

Founded in 2015, the Palma Gospel Singers are a non-profit choral group with the aims of singing gospel music from the heart and dispelling all forms of racial discrimination.

Plurality, unity, solidarity and empathy are bywords for the group, whose performances are in aid of charity.

One that is being prepared is for Sonrisa Médica, the association that takes entertainment into hospitals and helps to lift the spirits of patients. Before that concert, there is one to benefit needy families that are assisted by the Franciscan Order in Arenal.

The choir is located at the Franciscans’ facilities at La Porciuncula Church, which many know better as the Glass Church, the creation of the architect Josep Ferragut who, among many other projects, was responsible for the Gesa building in Palma.

Sunday, 7pm, La Porciuncula Church (Glass Church), Avda. Fra Joan Llabrés, Arenal (Palma).

Fairs weekend

Mallorca’s fairs are really back with a vengeance, and this weekend there is a choice - Alaro, Consell, Felanitx, Inca and Santanyi. The Alaro ‘Gremial’ Fair, dedicated to artisan crafts and products, is on Sunday. The Consell Autumn Fair is on Saturday, with the Sunday given over to the wine fair.

In Felanitx on Sunday, it’s the Pebre Bord Fair, a celebration of the ‘tap de cortí’ Majorcan variety of pepper that not so long ago was in danger of disappearing but which was brought back through a determined effort by producers. A paprika, it is an essential ingredient for the spicy version of sobrassada.

Santanyi’s fair is on Saturday and will culminate with the ‘Rock ‘n’ Rolla’ party at the sports centre from 10.30pm - tables for up to eight people, current Covid rules apply. And in Inca, it is the first of the three fairs that are the lead-up to the grandest of all Majorca’s fairs, next month’s Dijous Bo.

This weekend’s is the Fair of the Land, with Sunday being the main day. Features include a “traditional Mallorcan space” of local products, exhibitions and performances by folk dancers and musicians.

Balearic Symphony Orchestra

Inca’s Teatre Principal was opened in 1914. An important cultural venue in Majorca’s “part forana”, the theatre was to fall into decline and a state of abandonment. There were hopes that it might be restored in time for its one-hundredth anniversary, but these came to nothing. Finally, a project was set in motion with the help of European Regional Development Fund financing.

The grand hall can accommodate 600, and the front of the building has been completely renewed and modernised.

The Balearic Symphony Orchestra has included a new venue for its season of Thursday evening concerts. Inca’s theatre has been added to Palma Auditorium, Trui Theatre and Manacor Auditorium.

The inauguration of the redeveloped theatre will therefore be celebrated by an orchestra programme that features Haydn’s Symphony No. 101, ‘The Clock’, and ‘Ritual de Pagesia’, the work of Majorcan composer Baltasar Samper, which premiered in 1935. The orchestra is increasingly highlighting works by island composers, with Samper acknowledged as one of the greatest.

Thursday, 8pm, Teatre Principal, C. Teatre, Inca.

Grand finale on saturday evening LGTBI choir festival

The Mallorca Gay Men’s Chorus has been one of the island’s most popular acts for several years. In September 2020, the choir was rocked when one of the founders, the director Joan Laínez, announced that he was leaving to concentrate on his career as a soloist. For a variety of reasons, some other members also departed.

In May and with Álvaro Chaves installed as the new director, the choir’s president, Jaume Font, said they were “very excited” about the future. The choir was undergoing a process of rebirth, Font accepting that it could never be the same but that it wouldn’t make sense to try to be. The aims in May were to have a choir of between 25 and 30 members and to be able to host an LGTBI choir festival in Palma in October. And this is exactly what has been achieved.

Choirs from Barcelona, Madrid, France and Poland will be joining the Mallorca Gay Men’s Choir for the festival. There are concerts at Palma’s Xesc Forteza Theatre on Thursday and Friday, and during the day on Saturday there will be performances on a stage in the Plaça Major. All the choirs will then come together for the grand finale on Saturday evening.

Saturday, 7.30pm, Trui Theatre, Camí Son Rapinya 29, Palma.