October 11, 2005 - Palau de les Arts Reina Sofía, Valencia - OPENING CONCERTS AT NEW OPERA HOUSE IN VALENCIA
October 11, 2005

OPENING CONCERTS AT NEW OPERA HOUSE IN VALENCIA

Palau de les Arts Reina Sofía, Valencia

Palau de les Arts was designed by the architect Santiago Calatrava
Concerts conducted by Lorin Maazel and Zubin Metha who, together with Placido Domingo, will collaborate on a regular basis with the Palau de les Arts

Palau de les Arts Reina Sofía – Instituto Obrero de València s/n
46013 València
Tel. 34 961 97 58 45 / 46
e-mail: press@lesarts.com www.lesarts.com

October 8th was a big day for world culture, with the opening concert at the Palau de les Arts Reina Sofía in Valencia (Spain). Designed by the architect from Valencia Santiago Calatrava, the new building will host operas, concerts and performing arts.

The Palau de les Arts is part of the breathtaking complex known as the City of Arts and Sciences in Valencia. Over recent years, the spectacular architecture of the centre has attracted a lot of attention worldwide and the cultural and entertainment on offer has brought people from far and wide. The centre was built under the auspices of the local government presided by Francisco Camps Ortíz. The coupling of the spectacular architecture of the buildings designed by Santiago Calatrava and the cultural interest of the contents makes for a unique attraction. Indeed, the City of Arts and Sciences and the fact that Valencia was chosen as the site for the Americas Cup were pivotal in making Valencia the fastest growing European city in terms of tourism over recent years.

If the architecture of the new opera house in Valencia is spectacular, the quality of its programming is no less impressive. Lorin Maazel has signed as musical director for the first three seasons and he will be actively involved in putting together the opera houses orchestra. Zubin Mehta, on the other hand, is the president of the Festival del Mediterráneo, an annual event to be held at the Palau, at the end of which it will stage world-class operas and concerts. To ensure the success of the project, the Palau has Helga Schmidt, former artistic director at Covent Garden, at the helm.

The opening concert at the Palau de les Arts features a special orchestra formed especially for the occasion with 90 musicians from Valencia culled from 12 prestigious orchestras around the world. Conducted by Lorin Maazel, the concert will be attended by Her Majesty Queen Sofía. The following day, Sunday 9th October, the concert will be repeated and will be open to the general public.

The third of the opening concerts is scheduled for Tuesday 25th October, this time with Zubin Mehta conducting the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra.
The Palau de les Arts will have its first full season in autumn 2006.

From an architectural viewpoint, the Palau de les Arts Reina Sofía is equally impressive. Spectacular in size and silhouette, coupled with state-of-the-art equipment and an exciting programme, it is sure to quickly find a place for itself among the mythical opera houses of the world. Opera houses like those in London, Sydney, Vienna and Milan.

Measuring over 70 metres in height and with a total floor area of around 40,000 square metres, the Palau de les Arts is divided into four separate halls, all boasting the latest technological advances conceived to stage all kinds of opera, musical and theatrical performances. The main Hall is at the heart of the building, both formally and structurally speaking. Designed to seat more than1800, it will be used for opera, zarzuela, classical ballet, contemporary dance, symphonic music, musicals and theatre.

The Aula Magistral, with seating for 400 spectators, is designed for conferences, lectures, roundtables and childrens theatre. The Upper Auditorium also has a capacity for more than 1800, and will host special musical events with optical effects, artistic videos and pop music. Finally, the Chamber Theatre, with seating for 400, is the perfect place for experimental and chamber music, and contemporary dance shows. This hall will also be the home of the Academia de Perfeccionamiento (or Advanced Academy), connected with Placido Domingos International Voice Competition. One of the central pillars of the project, this Academy will focus on young singers and encourage musical culture and training among children.

The opening concerts at the Palau de les Arts Reina Sofía in Valencia are sure to go down as one of the leading cultural events in the world this year.

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