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Josep Bernat Flaugier's Martyrdom of Saint Eulalia on display at the MUHBA

Fri, 02/07/2020 - 10:00

The Barcelona History Museum is hosting an exhibition of various works depicting episodes of the life of Saint Eulalia by the leading 19th-century painter Josep Bernat Flaugier. The donation of these paintings to Barcelona City Council is a considerable boost to the city’s cultural heritage.

Scenes from the life and martyrdom of Saint Eulalia by the well-known French-born painter Josep Bernat Flaugier (1757-1813) will be on display at Capella de Santa Àgata in the Barcelona History Museum (MUHBA) from 13 February, after which they will become part of the museum’s collections. The gift, which comes from a private collector who has chosen to remain anonymous, fulfils three requirements that are not always met in such cases: high artistic interest, historical importance, and symbolic value.

The works in question are six decorative panels painted in oil on canvas, all of them dating from 1812, which depict several episodes in the life of Saint Eulalia, who is joint patron saint of Barcelona. Specifically, the paintings depict Saint Eulalia with her parents; Saint Eulalia in front of the governor Dacian ratifying her Christian faith; Saint Eulalia being dragged by the executioner on the way to becoming a martyr; Saint Eulalia tortured with fire; Saint Eulalia being whipped while tied to a column; and Saint Eulalia tied to the St. Andrews’ Cross.

According to preserved documents, the works were part of the pictorial decoration of the Palau de la Virreina in the 19th century. In 1835, this palace became the residence of Josep Carreras i d’Argelich, an important collector from Barcelona. The paintings were put on display for the first time in 1902 at the “Ancient Art Exhibition" organised by Barcelona City Council.

In 1944, the City Council acquired the Palau de la Virreina, which now houses the Barcelona Institute of Culture, and the paintings remained the property of the Carreras family until 1989, when they were bought by the owner who is now donating them to the city.

Josep Bernat Flaugier was a painter of great renown. He is considered to have introduced neoclassical taste into Catalan painting, and he painted large religious series for churches in both Barcelona and the rest of Catalonia. He was given many official commissions, and in 1809, during the French occupation of Barcelona, he became the headteacher of the Escola de la Llotja art and trade school, a position he held until his death in 1813.

<em>NU(e)S</em>, a show by Esbart Maragall that reflects on change and rebellion

Thu, 02/06/2020 - 10:00

NU(e)S is the first dance show created entirely by Esbart Maragall, who have risen to this new challenge to bring us a starkly sincere production. An exploration of our roots as the starting point for building a future that is only achieved through conflict.

On Friday, 7 February at 8.15 pm in Plaça de Sant Jaume, Esbart Maragall will present its latest show, NU(e)S, which has been entirely created and choreographed by the historic Esbart de Sant Andreu. NU(e)S delves into the world of past generations to observe the evolution of society through conflict.

The show is composed of eight pieces that provide their own reflection through new musical and choreographic languages. Four perspectives from three choreographers and a set designer with different methods and ways of creating contrast. The choreographers are Concepción Bachs, Pere Seda and Enric Martínez; and the set designer is Marc Udina.

Nu(e)S aims to reflect a social context of change and reflect on the impact of these changes on individuals, their relationships and their place in a changing society. A show that speaks of nostalgia, of change and rebellion, and of the fear of transformation and the unknown.

The music in Nu(e)S takes its cue from the plot of the show: a selection of pieces ranging from Sardana music to songs by singer-songwriters, all of them with their own specific character that fits each choreography perfectly.

The costumes, which have been designed by Marc Udina and are contemporary in style but influenced by traditional clothing, are the thread interweaving each piece and defining the dancers as individuals in a great show that will certainly not disappoint.

Barcelona celebrates Santa Eulàlia with a huge festival of popular culture

Thu, 02/06/2020 - 09:00

The youngest members of the city’s festival groups and associations have prepared a Winter Festival packed with new events. Esquerdats, the new human tower group from Esquerra de l’Eixample, will be making their debut. The most fantastic beasts imaginable await us in an eerie exhibition at La Virreina, while popular dancers are going to surprise us with some original new dances in addition to their more traditional ones.

The Santa Eulàlia festival is a huge showcase of traditional popular culture and the youngest members of the city’s festival groups and associations take very special care to make it just that. This is where Barcelona’s human tower groups (colles castelleres) start their season every year, and this year there’s going to be a new group, the Esquerdats from the Esquerra de l’Eixample neighbourhood. The groups have a time limit of 90 minutes to build their towers in the old way, simultaneously.

At Palau de la Virreina, we can see Fantàstics!, an eerie exhibition of fantastic festival beasts from Barcelona and other parts of the country, starting on 1 February. Beasts inspired in myths and legends, and even in horror and fantasy books and comics. Atzeries from Gràcia, Bretolàs from Sant Andreu de Palomar, Nèbula and Hydros from Trinitat Vella, and many more beasts will be taking to the streets for a musical street parade (cercavila) on the afternoon of 9 February before performing their dances with fireworks in Plaça de Sant Jaume.

As for dance, the Esbart Maragall group will be presenting NU(e)S, a show that explores our roots as the starting point for building a future that can only be achieved through struggle. A reflection on change, revolt and the fear of the unknown. This is the first show created and choreographed entirely by Esbart Maragall, who rise to this new challenge to bring us a starkly sincere production.

For the second year running, Barcelona’s stick dancers (bastoners) will be celebrating the Santa Eulàlia stick dancing festival, this time with their guests Danses Guerreres de la Todolella from the county of Ports in Castelló, all joining together to add to the strength and vitality of the Bastoners de l’Arboç. The Ball de Panderos from Vendrell and the group from Vilanova will also be performing their version of this sister dance using tambourines rather than sticks.

Throughout the festival, giants, dragons, devils, dance groups, the City Eagle and, at their head Laia, a girl giant representing Santa Eulàlia, one of Barcelona’s patron saints, will be filling the city’s streets with different parades and dances. And, among lots of other activities, there will be sardana gatherings, traditional dancing (esbarts), the schools’ giants, the bobbin lacemakers’ gathering and fire runs (correfocs), which for the first time will culminate in a closing concert.

Concert-tour of Ciutat Vella's organs

Mon, 01/27/2020 - 10:00

Saturday 8 February, from 10 am to 5.30 pm
Free activity. Limited places.
Prior booking is required for the Palau Güell

 

Traditionally, Barcelona used to have a wealth of organs, but as many as fifty-four of them were burnt during the Spanish Civil War, while a lack of use or maintenance irretrievably condemned the few that remained to gradual deterioration.

And now, for the Santa Eulàlia festivities, Barcelona is offering us a unique opportunity to discover and listen to seven of Ciutat Vella's main organs, saved from the Spanish Civil War and restored over the last few years. A number of professional organists will reveal the secrets of these treasured instruments and perform a short concert for visitors.

The organs, organists and timetables are as follows:

 

10 am Romantic Walcker organ at the Palau de la Música Catalana (1908). Restored by Gerhard Grenzing.

Organist: Pedro Aguiló

 

11 am Renaissance organ at the Catedral de Barcelona (1538). Reconstructed by Gabriel Blancafort.

Organist: Aarón Ribas

 

12.30 pm Post-romantic organ at the Basílica de Sant Just i Pastor (1906). Restored by Joan Carles Castro and Albert Blancafort.

Organist: Pau Riuró 

 

3 pm Baroque Catalan organ at the Basílica Santa Maria del Mar (18th century). Reconstructed by Gerhard Grenzing (1998).

Organist: Neil Cowley

 

4 pm Contemporary organ at the Basílica de la Mare de Déu de la Mercè, made by Gerhard Grenzing (2018).

Organist: Joan Seguí 

 

5 pm and 5.30 pm. Contemporary organ at the Saló Central at the Palau Güell. Reconstructed by Albert Blancafort (2012).

Organist: David Malet

 

5 pm Post-romantic organ at the Capella de l’Esperança. Reconstructed by Albert Blancafort (2018).

Organist: Berenguer Montserrat