The 37th edition of Veranos de la Villa Festival kicks off with one of the broadest ranges of cultural offerings in Madrid
The city of Madrid is reclaiming the spirit of its Veranos de la Villa Festival, organised by Madrid City Council’s Department of Culture, Tourism and Sport. The festival, to be held from 6 July to 29 August, is designed to be held at multiple venues around the city. Featuring first-rate national and international cultural offerings, it will welcome artists and creators who will share their recent work with audiences. The 37th edition of Veranos de la Villa was presented by José Luis Martínez-Almeida, the Mayor of Madrid, alongside Andrea Levy, Councillor for Culture, Tourism and Sport, and Ángel Mucia, the festival's director.
The presentation was held in the famous Cloister of the Well in Instituto San Isidro, which was included as a festival venue this year. It was attended by over twenty artists whose work will be showcased during the two months that the festival will last, in one or more of the 16 venues it will be held. Lara Lars, who designed the graphic campaign, was also in attendance. Pitingo, María Toledo, Ernesto Caballero, Carmen Conesa, Natalia Lacunza, Marta Movidas, Menta, Proyecto MEMENTO, Ernesto Arias and Veintiuno band members Diego Arroyo and Pepe Narváez, among others, make up a diverse, accessible, gender-balanced programme in a festival for all of Madrid's residents and visitors.
Music, performing arts, circus, exhibitions and gastronomy-related events are some of the programme's cultural offerings, which establish a connection between our cultural heritage and our traditions, from the Spanish Golden Age to the new electronic sounds.
This edition will host the world premiere of Bounce by Circa, a show by Australian company Circa Contemporary Circus, which worked with the award-winning English architecture studio AL_A architects (directed by Amanda Levete) to create a large, inflatable structure that will be set up in Juan Carlos I Park (7-18 July). In the words of Ángel Murcia, the festival's director, “This isn't just a circus production, but a total immersive experience and an architectural installation that complements the rest of the programme”.
Singer-songwriter and 2017 Eurovision winner Salvador Sobral will open the festival on 6 July, bringing the melodic rhythms of Portuguese jazz that distinguish bpm, his new, entirely self-written album, to the Central Courtyard of Conde Duque Cultural Centre. Almost immediately afterwards, from 7 to 9 July, fashion will flood Fernán Núñez Palace with a fashion show featuring 35 designers, organised in collaboration with the Spanish Railway Foundation and TELVA.
The Sounds of Conde Duque Cultural Centre
For another year running, Conde Duque’s Central Courtyard will transform into a venue with the very best music. After Sobral opens the festival, the unconventional Julia de Castro, former frontwoman of De La Puríssima, will arrive at Veranos (13 July) to present her first solo album, La Historiadora, which is an eclectic mix of every genre under the sun.
18 July will feature artist María Toledo and her show Ranchera Flamenca, in which she combines flamenco palos (styles) and Mexican rancheras with her own unique flair. She will be accompanied by Andy & Lucas and flamenco dancer Manuel Fernández Montoya, better known in the dance world under his artistic name, El Carpeta.
In addition, to mark the 200th anniversary of Peru's independence, 25 July will bring a grand tribute to Peruvian singer-songwriter and composer Chabuca Granda, who wrote songs like La flor de la canela, El puente de los suspiros and Fina estampa. Organised in collaboration with the Embassy of Peru in Spain, it will be performed by flamenco artist Pitingo, who will be accompanied by Lucho González, Chabuca Granda's arranger and guitarist, and Mercedes Sosa.
Veintiuno, the band with Toledo roots made up of Diego Arroyo, Yago Banet, Pepe Narváez and Jaime Summers, will unleash the “black pop” with undertones of funk, blues and R&B from its latest album, Corozonada, in a concert on 28 July.
In August, Carles Benavent, Tino di Geraldo and Jorge Pardo will reunite on Saturday the 7th to review some of their songs and to remember the masterful Chick Corea and Paco de Lucía. The next day, on 8 August, numerous musicians from jam sessions on Madrid’s black music circuit will come together in Fight for Your Rights to mark the 50th anniversary of Marvin Gaye's album, What’s Going On. Participating artists include Aurora (Aurora & The Betrayers), Deborah Ayo (Freedonia), Iñigo Bregel (Los Estanques), Igor Pascual (Loquillo) and Germán Salto, among others.
Then, with a radically different style, Natalia Lacunza will be at Conde Duque on the 15th to perform songs from her last two EPs, with a sound that is influenced by bedroom pop, rhythm and blues and soul, but has pop roots.
New bands will also take over Conde Duque's Central Courtyard for two days, on 20 and 21 August. The first night will feature the dark sounds of multidisciplinary artist Megane Mercury as well as the strong, tropical sound of Fresquito & Mango and the captivating reggaeton of Bea Pelea. The 2nd will bring the despair, nihilism and raw, unfiltered love of Menta as well as a mix of traditional pop and academic music from centuries gone by, courtesy of Marta Movidas.
On 26 August, we’ll be able to enjoy Abdón Alcaraz’s “Spanish jazz”. To mark Casa Asia’s 20th anniversary and the 70th anniversary of the diplomatic relations between Spain and the Islamic Republic of Pakistan, the pianist will present his latest album, Silencio, featuring a special collaboration with Ashraf Sharif Khan on the sitar and Shahbaz Hussain on the tabla.
And, on 27 August, following a performance by multidisciplinary artist Cecilia Zango –a musicologist, guitarist, violinist, pianist and singer-songwriter with four national classical guitar awards under her belt–, Françoiz Breut, a key figure from the 1990s music scene in France, will bring the sounds of his new album, Flux flou de la foule, to Conde Duque.
The festival will close on Sunday 29 August with a concert by Pastora Soler, who will present her latest album, Sentir, in addition to putting her own spin on songs by artists from Madrid.
Performing Arts: from the Spanish Golden Age to New Trends
From 8 to 11 July at Juan March Foundation, playwright Ernesto Caballero will direct his adaptation of Calderón de la Barca's Comedias Mitológicas, a play almost never staged, in a co-production by Veranos de la Villa and Juan March Foundation featuring a cast that includes Felipe Ansola, Carmen Conesa, Karina Garantivá, Estíbaliz Racionero and Germán Torres.
Compagnia Finzi Pasca will visit Madrid to present Bianco su Bianco, in collaboration with the Swiss Embassy for Spain and Andorra, from 9 to 11 July at Naves del Español in Matadero. The two performers –actors, acrobats and clowns– strike up an exchange with a sophisticated and intriguing universe made of lights and sounds, featuring over 300 bulbs created for the great Forest of Light in Sochi’s Olympic Stadium and resized for use in the theatre. In the same venue, from 15 to 17 July, the young Catalan company Les Impuxibles will present Suite TOC núm 6 in Madrid, giving a voice to silenced groups and helping to destigmatise mental disorders.
Zarzuela: Madrid's Lyric Genre Par Excellence
If there's one genre of musical theatre that embodies Madrid, it's zarzuela. The city was the birthplace and inspiration for many of the genre's works, which is why we are revisiting the tradition by bringing it back to the stage in Conde Duque's Central Courtyard. The month of July –from the 7th to the 11th– will get off to a start with a new adaptation of a key work in 20th century musical theatre: La Tabernera del Puerto by Pablo Sorozábal, a composer who spent most of his career in Madrid, performed by the Compañía Lírica Amadeo Vives and the Orchestra of the Community of Madrid.
And Veranos de la Villa just wouldn't be the same without the Municipal Symphonic Band of Madrid. Its conductor, Jan Cober, developed the Música y Amor concert programme (29 July, Pilar García Peña Outdoor Auditorium) featuring the band’s most representative songs, which have earned it great international prestige. As the band plays its best-known pieces, Cober will lead it on a journey into the heart of Madrid, paying a heartfelt tribute to the city's audiences in appreciation of their loyalty.
Dance at the Festival
This edition of Veranos de la Villa will continue to make a strong push to foster dance during the summer months. This year, the first company it will host was founded by 2001 National Dance Award winner Eva Yerbabuena, whose latest show, Al igual que tú, will premiere in Madrid from 15 to 17 July in Conde Duque’s Central Courtyard. She will be accompanied by 12 artists in a production featuring the collaboration of playwright and stage director Alfonso Zurro.
Meanwhile, in Broken Chord, one of Africa’s most renowned choreographers, Gregory Maqoma, has created a show inspired by the South African choir formed by young black singers of both sexes which, in the late 19th century, embarked on a long tour of Great Britain, Canada and the United States. The narrative production, featuring traditional African dances and organised in collaboration with the Orchestra and Chorus of the Community of Madrid (ORCAM) Foundation, will be held at Conde Duque on 22, 23 and 24 July.
For its part, Madrid will be represented by choreographer Sara Cano and her utterly avant-garde folk in Vengo!, which won the 2020 Max Award for Best Choreography. The show, a contemporary reinterpretation of the hallmarks of our identity, will be shown at Conde Duque on 30 and 31 July.
In honour of Slovenia’s presidency of the Council of the European Union and in collaboration with the Embassy of Slovenia in Madrid, Veranos de la Villa has invited the prestigious Ljubljana Slovenian National Theater Opera and Ballet to the festival. From 11 to 13 August, it will present Wind, a double bill created by Renato Zanella during his time as director of the Vienna State Ballet, consisting of a choreographed neoclassical ballet for Beethoven's Piano Concerto no. 5 in E Flat Major, Op. 73, and a second piece, Strauss’ Dream, a contemporary adaptation of the traditional Vienna New Year’s Concert featuring the best-known music by Johann Strauss and Gustav Mahler.
Circus: A Madrid Tradition
Continuing the strong circus tradition in Madrid that dates back to the 19th century, this year the festival will include various circus activities organised in partnership with Teatro Circo Price and performed by companies from the Community of Madrid.
On 24 and 25 July, Naves del Español at Matadero will host Ethos, a production by the company Fuenlabrada Producciones Chisgarabís that will make its debut in Madrid. The comic, poetic show is set in a dystopian world against the backdrop of the Spanish Baroque, where circus techniques (teeterboard, acrobatics, juggling, Risley and clown acts, etc.) and classical music coexist.
Meanwhile, Javier Ariza’s travelling show, Carman, will bring us an eccentric showman who performs a music routine accompanied by a car, the iconic Seat 600, which becomes an autonomous puppet that sets the scene for this street comedy. It will be held in Conde Duque's South Courtyard (6 August) and in multiple districts around the city (5, 7 and 8 August).
Conde Duque will also host the premiere of Trece, by the Puntocero Company, on 18 and 19 August. The multidisciplinary, visually impressive show boasts exceptional quality of form and features three internationally renowned artists: Miguel Muñoz, who won the FISM Magic Grand Prix in 2018; trapeze artist Zenaida Alcaide, with her act Reflejos; and ventriloquist Celia Muñoz, who won the last edition of Got Talent España.
Offerings for the Whole Family
From 23 to 25 July in Espacio Abierto Quinta de los Molinos, playwright and director Lucía Miranda and her company Cross Border Project will stage their extremely loose and particular adaptation of Alice in Wonderland and Alice through the Looking Glass. The site-specific documentary theatre production by Veranos de la Villa and Espacio Abierto is a journey through diversity: hatmakers with mental disorders, an inseparable blind woman and dog, teenagers who tell us what we have to do...
At the request of Veranos de la Villa, Producciónes Yllana will revisit the story of Paco the dog for the festival, in the show No todo son pulgas. Memorias y desmemorias de un perro famoso. Set in Costumbrist 19th century Madrid, the show turns the experiences of the canine –known for his penchant for turning up at bullfights and cafés where the city's famous tertulias, or social gatherings, were held– into a theatrical production in which music, physical comedy and interaction with the audience take centre stage (from 16 to 18 July and 21 to 25 July in Sala Margarita Xirgu at Teatro Español).
Instituto San Isidro: A New Festival Venue
In 1845, when Instituto San Isidro took over part of the buildings which at the time housed the schools Colegio Imperial and Reales Estudios de San Isidro, it became Spain’s oldest school. It is also, however, an institution of key importance in Madrid. The incredibly extensive list of alumni who have passed through its Cloister of the Well is a living testimony to Madrid’s history and cultural legacy. Lope de Vega, who wrote the never-staged play El animal de Hungría, was one of them. Full of humour, conspiracies, betrayal, violence and poetry, and based on the “myth of the savage”, it will be presented by the young creative theatre group Colectivo Állatok / Escénate on 20 and 22 August.
On 24 August, the same venue will host Tarta Relena, who will give an a cappella performance that plays around with different styles of vocal music which have deep Mediterranean roots. Marta Torrella and soprano Helena Ros will present their latest album –Fiat Lux, which explores powerful female figures of key importance– in Madrid for the first time.
The events at this venue will wind to a close from 26 to 28 August, when a trio consisting of seasoned actress Nuria Espert, theatre director Lluís Pasqual and Federico García Lorca, one of Spain’s literary giants, will come together in a production that combines a performance of Lorca's Romancero Gitano with recollections from Espert's career.
An “Illustrated” Summer
Veranos de la Villa will make room for art this year, with a number of activities based on illustration. The first is organised by the Swedish Embassy in Madrid, in collaboration with Seriefrämjandet and the Swedish Art Council. Here Come the Women... from Sweden with New Comics is a compilation of graphic work by female Swedish illustrators who have followed in the footsteps of notable female figures like Liv Strömquist and Nina Hemingsson. It will be held from 1 July to 29 August in CentroCentro.
The festival's exhibitions will also hit the streets, in Do You Paint or Draw? A Journey through Art via Comics, organised by Acción Cultural Española and curated by Jorge Díez. The exhibition, which will be in Paseo de Recoletos from 1 July to 24 August, approaches classic and contemporary art through the work of 11 comic artists from Spain.
In addition, in an event midway between music and illustration, María Hesse and Tulsa will give an “illustrated concert” on 22 August. The multidisciplinary show will unite music and illustration live on stage.
Veranos de la Villa in La Bombilla Park
The festival will also focus on film, with La Bombilla Park serving as the designated hub. A series curated by La Juan Gallery, Hot Cinema: Bollywood Meets Madrid (Cine Caliente: Bollywood a la madrileña), will screen well-known films –Showgirls, Casa Flora and Mujeres al borde de un ataque de nervios– on 27 July and 3 and 10 August. The films will be interrupted continuously for running commentaries and analyses by Nerea Pérez de las Heras, Oro Jondo and Valeria Vegas.
And, for another year running, on 24 August the Film Academy (Academia de Cine) will announce the winners of the third edition of the Residency Programme it holds with the support of Madrid City Council and the City of Madrid Film Office, before going on to mark Berlanga Year with a screening of the first film that Luis García Berlanga directed on his own: Bienvenido, Míster Marshall.
A festival inside a festival. That's what the artists from 21distritos will offer in La Sub25, from 9 to 10 July in El Sitio de mi Recreo Youth Centre and Las Trece Rosas Municipal Auditorium. It will include concerts, discussions, exhibitions, performing arts and urban art by artists who haven’t yet reached the quarter-century mark.
Another offering, by Peruvian artist Ety Fefer, is closer to the world of cabaret: Grumildos, which we’ll be able to visit from 3 to 8 August in Conde Duque’s Vaulted Room, is a robotic puppet show for adults in which dreamlike, misfit characters wander around under cover of darkness, activated by the observer’s curious gaze.
The same space will also host Proyecto MEMENTO, which will present its tattoo-based narrative take on the city on 20 and 21 August. Tattooing is Scarring over Together is a transmedia installation that explores the construction of an identity in the collective memory through the process of etching on the skin.
On 21 and 22 August, we’ll also be able to enjoy 360º experimental electronic music audiovisual composition for domes in the series Music in Orbit (Música en órbita), a project curated by About Music featuring multimedia artists Maotik and Pandelis Diamantides, whose Drowning will make its debut in Spain, and Dasha Rush & Stanislav Grazov, who will bring us their audiovisual project Antarctic Takt, featuring ambient and techno sounds that represent an abstract Antarctica.
Republic of Korea: Guest Country
One of the pillars of the Veranos de la Villa festival is the presence of guest countries at each edition to enable Madrid's residents and visitors to learn more about that country's culture through our programme. The presence of artists from Korea at this edition, in connection with the 10th anniversary of the creation of the Korean Cultural Centre in Spain and with the support and collaboration of the Embassy of the Republic of Korea, is thus a key element in the festival. 24 July will feature K-POP en España 2021, a competition with groups of participating singers and dancers that will come from all over Spain to show off their talent and compete to go through to the world final.
Korean performing arts will be represented on 12 and 13 August in Teatro de Conde Duque with a production of The History of Korean Western Theatre by renowned playwright Jaha Koo. Somewhere between contemporary art, performance art and documentary theatre, it is the final episode in his Hamartia trilogy.
Meanwhile, audiovisual artist Lee Lee Nam will pack a powerful visual punch from 12 to 14 August with a reinterpretation of classic masterpieces that will be projected onto the facade of Serrería Belga (The Belgian Sawmill), bringing new meaning and vitality to every single pixel.
For family audiences, on 14 and 15 August the company 4 Lunas will be in Conde Duque's Vaulted Room to tell traditional Korean stories which, in Iyagui: cuentos coreanos, turn into thrilling puppet shows performed by plane figures, masks and live musicians.
As part of the programme devoted to Korea, the festival will host Buddhist monk Jeong Kwan in his first visit to Spain. He has never received a Michelin star or been included in the 50 Best list, but he fascinates the world’s top chefs. On 24, 25 and 26 August, he will explain his philosophy and the values of Korean Buddhist gastronomy (or monastic Buddhist cooking) to Madrid residents and culinary industry professionals alike at the Korean Cultural Centre.
Eating up the Summer (Comerse el verano)
Eating up the Summer, a series organised in partnership with the Spanish Federation of Chefs and Confectioners (FACYRE), will return this year to draw chefs and confectioners –both Michelin-starred old hands and members of the latest generation– to Madrid. They will create a dish for each activity in the programme, which can be viewed at www.veranosdelavilla.com.
This edition of Veranos de la Villa will continue to prioritise accessibility and inclusiveness by bringing culture to all people. To this end, virtually all of the programme's offerings are wheelchair accessible and content accessibility measures are in place, such as audio description, pre-event touch tours, sign language interpreters, haptic backpacks, hearing induction loops and amplified sound devices.
Moreover, to ensure that disabled persons can take part in activities as safely as possible, specific seats have been set aside to ensure a better location and improved access, depending on how much support is required. With the aim of providing all relevant information, in the Accessibility section of the festival website you can view all of the accessibility measures for each show, the channels that have been set up for reservation of seating for people with disabilities and information on discounts and pick-up times for accessibility equipment.
Festival Sponsor and Partners
Veranos de la Villa 2021 is organised by Madrid City Council's Department of Culture, Tourism and Sport, via Madrid Destino, and features the Republic of Korea as its guest country, with assistance provided by the Korean Cultural Centre in Spain. The festival's main sponsor is Banco Sabadell and it is organised in partnership with Iberia and El Águila beer. This edition also features Telemadrid as its official media outlet, which, in keeping with its mission of public service, will broadcast three of the main shows to allow the programme to reach a wider audience. All of the festival's cultural offerings can be viewed on the official website www.veranosdelavilla.com.