Adelaide International Guitar Festival

Guitar Festival Review: Colours Of Spain

From exquisite to sublime to spectacular!

From exquisite to sublime to spectacular!

Presented by: Adelaide Guitar Festival
Reviewed: 15 July, 2023

The first part of the program featured the incredible skills of Andrea González Caballero on classical Spanish guitar. At the tender age of around 30 years old she is already recognised as an international star who brings a fiery, female interpretation to traditional Spanish music.  Sitting alone on a bare stage, she carries the audience on a musical journey through Spain, ranging over themes from La Traviata to popular Spanish songs she remembers from her childhood as Andrea seeks to bring other musical forms into the classical repertoire. 

Her rendition of the lively dances from Cataluña and Sevilla show the energy and passion in this wonderful music. Andrea concludes with Manuel de Falla’s music, arguably one of the greatest Spanish composers. The music in of his Miller’s Dance and Spanish Dance truly evoke the colours of Spain through the virtuosity of her performance. 

The second half of the concert was performed by Compañía Flamenca Antonio Andrade, on their first visit to Australia, with two guitarists, two singers and five dancers. I had not previously understood that it is the song or cante which is at the heart of flamenco. The poet Federico Lorca worked to revive the traditions of flamenco by rescuing and collecting folklore throughout Andalusia before he was executed in the Spanish Civil War. Antonio Andrade spoke of the many influences on flamenco over the centuries and one can clearly hear the Middle Eastern influences from both Jewish and Arabic traditions in the singing.

The passion and energy displayed in the dancing was extraordinary. With the stage rigged for sound, the audience could really hear the incredible beat of the dancers’ feet. My favourite dance was with the traditional Spanish dresses with rows of ruffles, petticoats and a train. Kicking the train out the way after a dizzying display of rapid turns must take years of practice but they made it look effortless, as do all great performers. 

This performance celebrates Adelaide’s connection with Seville, a fellow UNESCO City of Music. Adelaide is Australia’s only UNESCO City of Music in recognition of the quality, diversity and commitment to music.

Reviewed by Jan Kershaw

Photo credit: supplied

Venue: Her Majesty’s Theatre
Season: ended
Duration: 2 hours

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