Gathering countless forms of artistic expression, from music to painting, going through theatre, dance, literature, cinema, gastronomy and visual arts, Festival das Artes, sponsored by the Inês de Castro Foundation, has been claimed as one of the main cultural events in central Portugal. The outdoor amphitheatre Colina de Camões is the main stage of the event, which takes place not only at the University of Coimbra, but also by the Mondego River and other locations throughout the city and the region. Luz e Sombra (Light and shadow) is the theme of this 11th edition which features seven cycles of 28 events, from 19th to 28th July, in the most diverse areas. A large part of these events happens outdoors at Colina de Camões Amphitheatre in Quinta das Lágrimas.
Amor e Paraíso was the opening concert, on 19th July, at Convento de São Francisco, where, as the world premiere in the Portuguese language, the soprano Susana Gaspar will follow in Sarah Bernhardt’s footsteps, reciting poems by Paul Armand Silvestre, in a workpiece composed by Isaac Albéniz. Under the musical direction of Bruno Borralhinho, the Ensemble Mediterrain will also present Mahler’s Symphony No. 4 in G major, in a version for Erwin Stein’s soprano and instrumental ensemble. On the last day, (July 28th) the concert O Brilho da Ópera (the brightness of the Opera) by the Portuguese Symphony Orchestra, will take place. This night’s concert will bring the magic of the great Arias to Coimbra’s nights. Between the opening and the closing days of the Festival there are many other reasons to keep a close eye!